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General Chat => Off Topic => : Grugz 02 January, 2016, 09:54:32 PM

: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 02 January, 2016, 09:54:32 PM
... There a few of us on the board who have or are suffering from that nasty little bugger called depression.
I want this thread to be somewhere we can come and talk to fellow like (not in their right) minded chaps and chapesses!
  No nastiness or name calling ,that's what the political threads for ,just come and if you are able vent,rant or just come for a virtual cuppa,choccy bicuit and hug.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Proudhuff 27 January, 2016, 08:30:08 PM
I've chatted with someone who 'Human Givens' helped a lot, so I have got a couple of books on it, they are a bit evangelical for my liking but I'm a dorr east coast Scotsman so I think that of everyone ;)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 January, 2016, 08:55:23 PM
Never heard of that before!  Just checked the website there; I'm always a bit put off by the word 'holistic' but I'm keeping an open mind.  Any chance you could give us a bit more info on it, Proudhuff?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 28 January, 2016, 12:52:48 AM
I'm always up for free hugs.

Come and get me :D
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Jim_Campbell 28 January, 2016, 07:06:59 AM
There was a large black dog in my local pub last night. Cheered me up no end. Ironically, it seems black dogs are an excellent antidote to the Black Dog.

Cheers

Jim
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 28 January, 2016, 07:09:37 AM
Could anything be better that listening to the song Black Dog as an actual Black Dog walks into the room?

I don't think so.

-Rich
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 28 January, 2016, 07:17:37 AM
There was a large black dog in my local pub last night. Cheered me up no end. Ironically, it seems black dogs are an excellent antidote to the Black Dog.

Cheers

Jim
Dogs are in general very theraputic to be around, cats as well. When my two cockers aren't running around like bedlam they're such chilled personalities to just sit and pet when the big bad cloud of anxiety creeps back in.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 28 January, 2016, 11:01:04 AM
I was recently mugged (for attention) by a boxer pup while out on a black dog stroll. The loveliest, ugly little pooch in the world. You couldn't help but laugh.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 January, 2016, 12:20:41 PM
Okay, I give in.

I've resisted medication for so many years now, reasoning that I'd be better learning to manage depressive episodes myself than have to depend on a chemical prop, something I've always have a fear of. And to an extent it's been working, I'm better at recognising the signs and communicating them, and trying to at least batten down the hatches before I go under, and serious episodes seem to be further apart and shorter.

But this past few weeks, despite being aware of my rapid descent, and identifying no clear cause whatsoever, I've just kept sliding. I've managed to remain civil to my loved ones, I haven't snapped at anyone,  I've dragged myself into work six days a week and staggered around, but everything else, EVERYTHING else has been a nightmare.  I've been unable to complete the simplest task (including two important contracts that I've now totally screwed) to deal with bills, phonecalls and emails, to prepare a meal, to be remotely supportive or helpful  to friends and family or even respond to them,  to stop feeling like a sucking black pit in my thorax is devouring me every single minute, sleeping or waking. I am effectively dead inside, a lumbering barely-functioning zombie that smiles and says 'good morning' and chats cheerily about the weather (or the Prog) even though everything behind my eyes is a howling wasteland and I'm as much use to those around me as dead battery.

I'm trying every coping mechanism I have ever heard of, or have had any success with in the past, and all it does is turn me into a Potemkin village of a person. I think, finally, I need to go down the chemical route, but I can't even seem to manage tackling that.

Allowing that no-one here is a doctor or an expert, and I'm not going to act on anyone's advice, what are my likely options here once (if) I do approach my GP? What sort of drugs are prescribed these days, and what do they do?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Jim_Campbell 28 January, 2016, 12:30:21 PM
Allowing that no-one here is a doctor or an expert, and I'm not going to act on anyone's advice, what are my likely options here once (if) I do approach my GP? What sort of drugs are prescribed these days, and what do they do?

You may be waaay past this point, or you may already be using them, but have you tried St Johns Wort tablets? It's not quackery, I promise. I have a friend who's an industrial chemist by trade and refused to try them for years, believing prescription remedies were the only realistic answer (but also refusing to take those as well!) but when I finally persuaded (OK, bullied) him into trying them, his partner commented on the improvement within 24 hours.

It certainly won't do you any harm, and it may take the edge off a little.

Cheers

Jim
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 January, 2016, 12:54:39 PM
Cheers Sharky!  No, wait... Jim?  Confess I always assumed St John's Wort was quackery, mentally filed right next to 'homeopathy' (although critically not actually under homeopathy). But sure I'll give it a shot. Right now, I'd scoff communion wafer if I thought it'd help.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 28 January, 2016, 01:24:29 PM
I know how you feel.  I take Lexapro (or a far cheaper non-brand analogue thereof).

I came off it a few years ago, during my blissful few months of travelling Asia; and it was easy in that environment - no withdrawal or anything.  I thought I'd never be depressed again.  I came home, though, to no job, money, home nor crazy but fun Thai girlfriend, and the onset ofboth  a cold Irish winter and middle age, and was plunged into a terrible pit of depression like I'd never had before.  Sometimes it was difficult to even walk a few steps; such was the effort it seemed at the time.  I wanted to die.

Going back on Lexapro helped me to rebuild my life again.  I still take it these days, and while my life is far from a blissful idyll, I haven't been depressed since then - I have aspirations and ambitions and take pleasure in simple things.  To the best of my knowledge hasn't affected me in any adverse way, except for the nuisance factor of having to buy it every month and take it every day.  (It was my mother, also a sufferer, who first recommended medication; when I was in my early 20s - as she says, 'You'd take medication for a sick liver, so why not for a sick mind?'). 

That's my experience anyway; obviously it doesn't work for everyone but it has been a major helping hand in my life.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 January, 2016, 01:39:30 PM
Good stuff, JBC, that's exactly the kind of info I'm after. It's hard to believe I'm so fecking ignorant when I've been dealing with this for more than 20 years, and too regularly in the past 10. 

I've only twice visited a GP about it, once in my very early 20s when I was prescribed a 'tonic' containing amphetamines, that I liked entirely too much and actually led me on to taking speed (but that's another story), and again in my late-30s when I was simply advised to knuckle down and 'not let it define your life'. Which I've been trying to do ever since, although quite frankly that's exactly what it has done. When you find yourself binning your phone and sleeping in your car to avoid your own family and friends, as I did a year or so back,  I think that definitions are moot. 

So time for a change.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: paddykafka 28 January, 2016, 01:56:43 PM
Right now, I'd scoff communion wafer if I thought it'd help.

Well, 1.2 Billion Roman Catholics in the world can't be wrong, you know.

But seriously, Tordel, I do hope that you'll get through this latest bout of the Black Dog. I'm not in any position of expertise - bar my own long, ongoing struggle with Chronic Anxiety Disorder and other various mental health gremlins - to offer advice. But if you do feel the necessity to go down the chemical route, just bare in mind that it can cause it's own share of problems with regard to side effects of the medication on some individuals.

If you have a good and sympathetic GP who actually LISTENS to you, then that at least is a good start in terms of appropriate advice and support for your particular circumstances. I wish you all the best in any event and take care.

Cheers - Paddy
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 January, 2016, 06:44:27 PM
Thanks Paddy, wise words. I'm not rushing into medication willy nilly wity no thought for side-effects - I've seen plenty of those.  I just want to get a sense of what is out there, after blanking the whole idea for so long. I'm basically giving up the illusion that I'm even holding my ground against this thing that seems intent on laying waste to my life just as I've almost put it back together again.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dandontdare 28 January, 2016, 07:39:53 PM
I had a big bout of depression in the early 00s - my GP referred me to a counsellor, who was a lovely lady but I didn't feel comfortable opening up to a stranger so I only went twice. I took St John's Wort and in time got better - I have no idea how much of that was down to the SJW, but I did some research at the time and found that in clinical trials it was found to make a difference for mild to moderate depression - you can get pills or a liquid solution with an eyedropper from any healthfood shop.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 28 January, 2016, 07:49:15 PM
I've battled the same for years now Tordels and had a bad slump last year.  I've also been keen to avoid meds and went down the St Johns Wort route and, though mild, I can honestly say they made a big difference for me.

If anything, within a few months I found my head getting a bit manic and had to come off them only to find the depression had really eased back again.

Certainly worth a try.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 28 January, 2016, 08:18:56 PM
Good stuff, JBC, that's exactly the kind of info I'm after. It's hard to believe I'm so fecking ignorant when I've been dealing with this for more than 20 years, and too regularly in the past 10. 

I've only twice visited a GP about it, once in my very early 20s when I was prescribed a 'tonic' containing amphetamines, that I liked entirely too much and actually led me on to taking speed (but that's another story), and again in my late-30s when I was simply advised to knuckle down and 'not let it define your life'. Which I've been trying to do ever since, although quite frankly that's exactly what it has done. When you find yourself binning your phone and sleeping in your car to avoid your own family and friends, as I did a year or so back,  I think that definitions are moot. 

So time for a change.

Sound; I really, really hope it works out for you.  I think the medication is generally supposed to be used in conjunction with some kind of CBT course; I haven't done enough of the latter, to be honest, but i have had quite a bit of counselling and it does help.

My GP also told me that my depression doesn't need to define me.  It's a strange one, that:  Does anything really define anyone?  I think I can speak for most of the board here, TB, when I say that you are seen around here as an extremely wise, witty and well-informed contributor - sort of our online Yoda, albeit with a better sense of humour. 

Personally - and without any disrespect to any other boarder; I stay here less because of the shared reading preferences and more because of the large number of fun, interesting and smart people - I genuinely, honestly value your input on this board more than anyone else's.  I've long lost count of the number of times you've opened my mind to new and better ways of thinking about a subject, or somehow plucked the half-formed thoughts from my mind and expressed them in a more articulate and creative way than I ever could.  It's hard for me to equate this intelligent, well-grounded and often hilarious Tordelback with the bleak, self-loathing and lost Tordelback of your own descriptions.

But then, that's the nature of the beast, isn't it?  Most people, I believe, see me as a friendly and upbeat person, and I very often am.  But these people haven't seen me during the bad times, when I've hidden from them on the street because social pleasantries seem empty and stressful, and when I've gone to bed terrified at the prospect of soon having to wake up to another day of misery; wishing I didn't have to wake up at all.

Self-definition doesn't come into it: We're one way sometimes, and another way other times.  Depression by its nature feels inescapable and permanent in a way that my words can't come close to describing, but you won't always be the way you are now.  Believe me when I say, I'm rooting for you.







: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Professor Bear 28 January, 2016, 08:24:14 PM
If St John's Wort didn't work, big pharma wouldn't have had the government ban homeopaths from selling it.

Don't be afraid to shop around when it comes to brain medicines - especially if you're private and paying through the nose - as I've heard depression sufferers compare notes on meds and the short version of the story is that some meds work for some people yet do sod all for others.  I've heard of forums on the web where people swap medicines (or give them away before they expire), so it might be worth checking out and seeing if there's any mention of experiences others have had on the industry standard meds wherever you live.

And of course: take care of yourself.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 29 January, 2016, 09:31:03 AM
Feckin' artists, right bunch of poofs.  And you're still not getting to paint me like one of your French girls.


Cheers, lads.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 29 January, 2016, 11:16:20 AM
Good stuff, JBC, that's exactly the kind of info I'm after. It's hard to believe I'm so fecking ignorant when I've been dealing with this for more than 20 years, and too regularly in the past 10. 

I've only twice visited a GP about it, once in my very early 20s when I was prescribed a 'tonic' containing amphetamines, that I liked entirely too much and actually led me on to taking speed (but that's another story), and again in my late-30s when I was simply advised to knuckle down and 'not let it define your life'. Which I've been trying to do ever since, although quite frankly that's exactly what it has done. When you find yourself binning your phone and sleeping in your car to avoid your own family and friends, as I did a year or so back,  I think that definitions are moot. 

So time for a change.

Sound; I really, really hope it works out for you.  I think the medication is generally supposed to be used in conjunction with some kind of CBT course; I haven't done enough of the latter, to be honest, but i have had quite a bit of counselling and it does help.

My GP also told me that my depression doesn't need to define me.  It's a strange one, that:  Does anything really define anyone?  I think I can speak for most of the board here, TB, when I say that you are seen around here as an extremely wise, witty and well-informed contributor - sort of our online Yoda, albeit with a better sense of humour. 

Personally - and without any disrespect to any other boarder; I stay here less because of the shared reading preferences and more because of the large number of fun, interesting and smart people - I genuinely, honestly value your input on this board more than anyone else's.  I've long lost count of the number of times you've opened my mind to new and better ways of thinking about a subject, or somehow plucked the half-formed thoughts from my mind and expressed them in a more articulate and creative way than I ever could.  It's hard for me to equate this intelligent, well-grounded and often hilarious Tordelback with the bleak, self-loathing and lost Tordelback of your own descriptions.

But then, that's the nature of the beast, isn't it?  Most people, I believe, see me as a friendly and upbeat person, and I very often am.  But these people haven't seen me during the bad times, when I've hidden from them on the street because social pleasantries seem empty and stressful, and when I've gone to bed terrified at the prospect of soon having to wake up to another day of misery; wishing I didn't have to wake up at all.

Self-definition doesn't come into it: We're one way sometimes, and another way other times.  Depression by its nature feels inescapable and permanent in a way that my words can't come close to describing, but you won't always be the way you are now.  Believe me when I say, I'm rooting for you.

This.

TB during my time on this forum you have impressed the hell out of this septic with doubt God botherer. I too am truly rooting for you fella and saddened to hear of black dog's assaults (BTW I have tried a variety of anti-depressants and can fill you in on my experiences on request).

JB when I joined this forum your welcome and warmth was one of the most conspicuous aspects of my joining and I echo your sentiments about the other good people of the forum.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 29 January, 2016, 12:38:12 PM
Thanks, Prodigal; and as I've said before, I wish all religious types were as sound as you.

By the way I'm glad this thread finally got going - I felt a wee bit bad for Grugz when he started it with very good intentions, but nobody replied for a long time.  The thing was, there was another thread at the time that had discussed depression at length.

EDIT:  I'll paint you whether you like it or not, TB.  All over with gold paint, like Jill Masterson in Goldfinger.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JPMaybe 29 January, 2016, 01:42:29 PM
Reading your post TB, my advice would be get to your GP post-fucking-haste and get on the pills.  You'll almost certainly be offered an SSRI, which worked very well for me.  That feeling you describe is still there for me, but (most of the time) much more distant, muted, less intense.  Side-effects wise, all I really had was  some anorgasmia, which wasn't a huge deal- to put it crudely, it meant I could last for ages with my gf of the time.

Therapy wise you'll almost certainly (eventually) get a course of 8-odd CBT sessions.  CBT works very well for some people- personally not so much, annoyingly, but I'd at least give it a go.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 29 January, 2016, 03:40:36 PM
Cbt helped me quite a lot.  The depression still returns and St. John's has been a real blessing, but knowing my triggers thanks to that counselling is a huge help.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 29 January, 2016, 04:55:32 PM
Hi Tordels', sorry to hear about your current situation.  I know how you feel on the medication front.  For a long time I felt pretty much the same.  I think part of that was because of my mothers' experience. 

There are some insanely sound people here and reading there remarks and advice I think they definitely merit serious consideration.  Having been through a CBT course I personally recommend it.  That said, I think it does depend on the counsellor.  I paid for one privately who was great but have also been to two different ones through work who were, not to put too fine a point on it, fecking useless!  As Something Fishy says, knowing triggers is also helpful in finding an effective balance.

The other strategy I have tried is Mindfulness.  I think the worst thing about the Black Dog for me is the spiral.  Feeling depressed or anxious and then getting annoyed about feeling depressed and anxious which makes the depression or anxiety even worse!  Using mindfulness strategies to shift the focus helps me to manage that more effectively.

As with everyone else, I really hope (and as another irritating God botherer, pray) that you find the most effective way for you.  Look after yourself fella.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Old Tankie 29 January, 2016, 06:36:33 PM
Counselling helped me when my illness started kicking in big time, maybe worth giving it a go.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Leigh S 29 January, 2016, 07:04:40 PM
Hi Tordels', sorry to hear about your current situation.  I know how you feel on the medication front.  For a long time I felt pretty much the same.  I think part of that was because of my mothers' experience. 


This was my experience - my mother was on valium and in and out of institutes during my childhood, and my older brother followed suit in his mid to late teens. 

My reaction to my own feelings of depression was always to never even acknowledge them - seeking help had not seemed to help the rest of my family, so I determined to get on with it - keep my head down, stay out of situations that would heighten feelings of cripplingly low self worth, avoid drink or anything that might make me lose control.  As I was left holding the fort when my mom then dad buggered off then giving in to it didnt seem an option at all. 

The first half of the 90s pretty much passed me by.  I remember people at work would joke about how I never left my bedroom, and I kind of built a character around it that and joked along with them. 

I met my wife at work and even when we started going out, I wouldnt drink and didnt really enjoy socialising - partly I would be worrying about what wwas happening at home, and partially was I didn't really have anything in common with the people I knew at the time (don't like sports, leering & wasnt drinking) - I've asked her why she put up with me, but she said I was funny and thoughtful and all the horrible stuff (both the practical goings on fending off bailiffs or breakdowns at home and the inside feelings of worthlessness) I kept away from her and friends. 

It has only been recently, many years after extricating myself from a lot of the worries I had, setting up home, having a family of my own and finding a bunch of friends that I am happy to want to socialise with (the geeks have united!), that I have understood just how ill I was back then. Ironically, having this realisation only in the past few years seemed to bring the depression back to the point it nearly knocked me out properly.

I can't give any advice - I was made to go the the GP, but didnt follow up on chasing my own therapy (strange that!). Medication still feels like something that I have seen people use to deaden their disquiet, when maybe their disquiet should have been acted on.  The one thing I did wrong was not to let it get too much for me, and I'm not sure I havent seen people get a prescription rather than (for example) ditch the partner they knew they didn't love or carry on hiding from the world. That said, I wouldn't deter anyone else - I have a friend was always very resistant to the idea of taking drugs, until his anxiety went through the roof and now he is a proudish user.

Anyway, as others have said, it is very sobering to see boarders here who are so articulate, funny and engaging posting here - I'm taking that as a sign you can't have one without the other!  :)



: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 29 January, 2016, 09:05:17 PM
its nice to see people using this thread as I was afraid it was getting filed in the "nice idea but no thanks "drawer.

   I haven't tried the st johns wort or even heard about it so may have to give it a go. For me anti depressants have been a life saver ,used to be on fluoxetine but now am on sertraline which seems to keep me ticking along without any side effects (unless you count the fact that it seems to surpress dreams,or at least my ability to know about it) was on mirtazapine briefly but that stuff had a weird effect on my legs! very uncomfortable restlessness/ache/cramp .
   Also one of the main things causing my problems is coming to an end,work has agreed to look at the dismissal for ill health option which is a damn good idea according to my gp who has agreed to do a report. i'll get 3 months at full pay plus holidays as my notice which is better than the zero I'm on at the moment...then when I get better I can look for something less complicated and political maybe join a care agency and work more locally and actually care for people instead of the move to admin monkey I was getting. 20 years down the pan but I did make a very good and long lasting friendship out of it.

  tordels, whatever you decide consider giving the tabs a try at least, I didn't like taking them but they do help...counselling also helped but it ony really works if you get someone you can talk to one I had was a lovely lady called Ingrid but I did have one who was a bit of a patronising hippy who for some reason reminded me of the woman from poltergeist (the little one "this house is clean")
  they did try to make me do a cbt computer therapy course I lasted two sessions before I taught my dog  some swear words and nearly threw the laptop out of the window...it was very ...acted.like one of those naff course videos you may have been forced to watch.
stay strong folks....
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 31 January, 2016, 03:10:56 AM
It's Sunday. I hate Sundays. The most depressing day of the week. Even worse is I have things to do and I have no motivation to do them. Even though I know they are important. It's annoying knowing that the majority of boarders are asleep right now (or down the pub) so the chance of a reply any time soon in minimal. The thing is I'm not even doing anything. My motivation is so low that I can't even be bothered getting up and putting on a movie or reading a book. Or playing guitar. I could quite easily just lay here and wait to fall asleep. The only reason I'm on here now is because the computer is right next to my bed so I can lay on my bed and type.

Does anyone else here suffer worse on a Sunday? Perhaps I should get a weekend job to keep me busy and take my mind off being bored/depressed.

There are so many things I could be doing and a few more that I must be doing today, and yet my body just says eh.

Anyway enough moaning from me. I know that if I give it long enough it will pass. It's not like I'm going to top myself. I wouldn't have the motivation even if I wanted to.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 31 January, 2016, 04:50:36 PM
I'm so sorry, but I couldn't help thinking of this....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RTJ4vHoYUs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RTJ4vHoYUs)


Maybe some kind of activity rather than a job; hillwalking or somesuch?  Walking the hills with friends helped me a bit during my bad spells.  Have to say; I love Sundays these days - Right now they're my only day off; and I really enjoy the freedom to do what I want and go where I want.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: CrazyFoxMachine 31 January, 2016, 05:02:28 PM

Does anyone else here suffer worse on a Sunday? Perhaps I should get a weekend job to keep me busy and take my mind off being bored/depressed.

Sunday nights are routinely harrowing/sleepless for me - often because my job is very changeable and I'm deeply anxious about what Monday might bring. Having a very active day often does assist with that as you deplete the energy you'd spend getting wired. Only problem there: I'm extremely lazy so I often have mental energy by the bucketload.

IT'S A VICIOUS CYCLE.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: CrazyFoxMachine 31 January, 2016, 05:25:26 PM
Also it's heartening to see so many folk articulating their experiences on this thread. You may not feel like it, but just writing it down and expressing what you're feeling in words is a huge part of the battle. It solidifies it, contextualizes it - stops it from becoming a howling vortex of conflicting feelings in your mind alone.

On that note I found CBT personally deeply effective when confronting a build of bullshit thinking - if you can flexibly identify and dismiss the thoughts as they occur to you, you can head off attacks quite effectively. Then - we all get it differently but this thread is a good start to get people writing it down. Don't stay silent, you are not alone!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 31 January, 2016, 05:43:44 PM
The black dog sits on my chest often.
things that 'normal' people love that fills me with dread:
1. party songs...Oh what a night etc...can render me more alone than a depressing radiohead/joy division/morrisey song
2. anything associated with a Sunday kills me (top 40, songs of praise, heartbeat et al)
3. there is so much mor but i'm self medicating so....
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 31 January, 2016, 06:52:52 PM
Does anyone else here suffer worse on a Sunday? Perhaps I should get a weekend job to keep me busy and take my mind off being bored/depressed.

I find Sunday afternoon / evening is when the anxiety spike is most likely to happen.  Usually it is all the things I had planned for the weekend but didn't get round to doing because actually I do need a break at some point and working non stop generally tends to lead to melt down.  I think the cultural norm now of working until you drop is probably part of the reason for the explosion in mental health issues over the last few years.

Personally I'm trying to condition myself into accepting that not only is it acceptable to actually spend time at the weekend on non work related activities but it is in fact a responsibility because otherwise I'm going to end up burning out.  I find that some mindless film or novel helps.  That and Camomile tea on a Sunday evening!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 14 February, 2016, 01:04:03 AM
So much to do. This is my last weekend before I move away and I haven't done any packing yet. I haven't even got somewhere to live yet. To most normal people the answers are obvious, but to be honest, I could just lay around all day listening to the chirping of the birds. And no, it's not because I'm a lazy sod!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dark Jimbo 14 February, 2016, 02:45:49 PM
I bloody love Sunday, me! Possibly my favourite day of the week. My calendar triggers aren't really day-related but date-related; New Years and Valentines Day (and occassionally my birthday).

This was the first year that I can remember that I didn't fall into a black hole of depression at New Years', though, so I'm hoping that the same holds true of today.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 15 February, 2016, 09:30:41 AM
Just three and a half hours' work in the last fortnight, so I'm now a week behind in the rent for my shed for the first time. That seems like a terrible milestone. Dreams - nightmares really - riffing on the cast out of home/family/society/world theme. The solicitor was expecting a reply from the police before Christmas but I haven't heard from him since, despite a couple of polite emails of inquiry I sent. Watching, helpless, as wider society sleepwalks into serfdom, war and ruin.

The pull of the black hole is becoming tangible again, the foetid breath of the Black Dog on the nape of my neck.

But, health-wise I'm okay and I have a small core of good and reliable friends.

I will not give in to this darkness again. I'll piss into the black hole until it chokes and kick the Black Dog in the nuts, send it scampering away yelping, tail between its legs. Fuck depression. Fuck anxiety. Whatever comes, I'll plant my feet and face it. Square my shoulders and resist it or let it flow past me. No medication. No drugs. Just me, small and insignificant, and all the inner power I can muster.

I will not yield to the darkness again.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Mardroid 15 February, 2016, 09:34:44 PM
That's the spirit Shark!
Just don't be afraid to talk to those good and reliable friends.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 16 February, 2016, 02:03:37 PM
Hope you're ok, Shark.

Me, I've had pretty much no free time for the last three months, even in the evenings, other than a week or so at Christmas (which was nice but a bit stressful in its own way).  It's finally really getting me down.  I didn't start a business for this - I want a life again. I can't even remember who I am any more.

To be fair; I'm nearly done with the heavy work; just one more week of it.  I'm also at a low ebb because I was very ill all weekend and still am a bit (not at all unconncected with the fact that I work almost all my waking hours and sleep little).  Hopefully once this last week is out of the way I'll remember what kind of person I am when I'm not working.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 16 February, 2016, 02:22:46 PM
Aye, stand your ground, Sharky. More than I can manage at any rate.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 16 February, 2016, 02:35:38 PM
Something I found as a good remedy for the daily visit from the black dog is little acts of kindness. Helping a mother struggling down some stairs with a pram, holding a door open that extra few seconds for an elderly gentleman, generously tipping barista's (Lord knows they need it) to the best of your ability.

Helping other people feel better, even nay especially complete strangers can often be the elevating factor of your day.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Jim_Campbell 16 February, 2016, 02:45:11 PM
Aye, stand your ground, Sharky. More than I can manage at any rate.

Any appreciable difference with St Johns Wort, TB?

Cheers

Jim
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 16 February, 2016, 04:54:56 PM
Haven't even given it a try yet Jim, thanks muchly for the reminder. Hard-won resolution to take action led to frustrating and unproductive engagement with my GP which so far has amounted to an exercise in appointment-making, and left me even more dispirited. Patience, patience. Luckily my main contract at the moment requires only the vaguest semblance of shambling life from me, buying my life in hourly chunks of mere presence and occasional grunts, or I'd be even more fecked. As to all my other responsibilities, it doesn't bear describing.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dog Deever 16 February, 2016, 05:00:16 PM
On that note I found CBT personally deeply effective when confronting a build of bullshit thinking

Worked for me on a personal level too. The pills kept me from landing up in jail though 'happy pills' were not happy in any way- it was an emotional flatline where I really did not give two hoots what I said or how it was received, but it did stop me from becoming violently aggressive, which was one of the main causes of much of my anxiety.
I was frustrated by the psychiatrists lack of willingness too talk about anything, but Occy Health fixed me up with six weeks CBT at an hour a week, on the phone- despite the shitness of this setup, I couldn't have turned the corner without it. I (typically) didn't even do the homework you're meant to do but it still worked. (That and constantly having to piss sitting down, leaning as far forward as possible to force it out of me, which I think is within the range of possible fluoxetine side effects. That couldn't last, I felt like I was going to rupture my bladder! Comical.)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 16 February, 2016, 06:21:41 PM
Thanks, chaps. Sorry I didn't reply sooner.

Helping others helps me, too. Just last week I stopped to help up a pensioner who fell over at a bus stop whilst a few others just kept walking. She was upset at having no money to pay me for my kindness but after I said, "Old lass, I don't need paying for doing the right thing," she got a tear in her eye and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Another bloke, who I vaguely know, also stopped and gave her a lift home in his van. I felt ten feet tall after that little act of kindness. Definitely powerful medicine.

I think getting out, taking the dog for a walk, especially with a friend, is also good for me.

One thing that might help others is how to deal with "dark thoughts." I used to get these a lot - you know the kind of thing, imagining punching someone or hurting yourself - and then worrying about them for ages after. I realised they're just random thoughts, everyone has them. Now I just shrug and say to myself, "it's just a thought, it doesn't mean anything," and let it go. I own my thoughts, or try to. Appreciate the "good" ones and cast the "bad" ones aside.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 16 February, 2016, 08:02:34 PM
Hard-won resolution to take action led to frustrating and unproductive engagement with my GP which so far has amounted to an exercise in appointment-making

Doesn't sound too helpful.  Maybe you need a new GP?  The last guy who prescribed my Lexapro was very understanding.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: CrazyFoxMachine 16 February, 2016, 08:39:02 PM
One thing that might help others is how to deal with "dark thoughts." I used to get these a lot - you know the kind of thing, imagining punching someone or hurting yourself - and then worrying about them for ages after. I realised they're just random thoughts, everyone has them. Now I just shrug and say to myself, "it's just a thought, it doesn't mean anything," and let it go. I own my thoughts, or try to. Appreciate the "good" ones and cast the "bad" ones aside.

An old friend of mine who was forever locked in a battle with the dark mutt once told me the phrase "a thoughtie isn't a naughty" - which is as weirdly illogical and cheesy as it is bizarrely unforgettable and quite comforting. Your bad thoughts can't hurt other people - only yourself and nor can they drive you to do things. Therefore attaching guilt or anxiety to them - when they're ephemeral things that never solidify - is a pointless exercise.

In terms of hard-won resolution turning to frustration - don't let that determination ebb away when the solutions aren't immediately forthcoming TB. More than likely what'll help you won't take the form you were envisioning in the first place!

Glad CBT did the job for you DD - it sets you up for the longer game by making you break apart negative things as they're occurring and not letting them grow in you. Someone once said that thought patterns are like unofficial footpaths forged into grassy fields, and you'll naturally follow the most indented route. The more you trudge along the negative path, the more permanent it becomes. You are surrounded by grass, and new trails can always be made. (Insert pretense-shattering oops-there's-the-farmer-you're-trespassing reference here)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 24 February, 2016, 05:01:45 PM
I had a rather peculiar feeling this morning, and it cast something of a shadow over my day. It's been 3 years to the day since I quite college. Most of my friends are in their final year of uni, and i'm still just kind of bumming about trying to decide what to do with my life. I mean, I recently got into a job I enjoy even if it is a simple bar job, i'm studdying through the OU for a career I enjoy, I just got back off a fantastic diving weekend. I'm happy.

So why is it I still regret not working hard enough at college? Why do I still regret packing in the towel despite all the health issues it was causing me? Why do I feel so old despite only being 20 and well within my pervue not knowing what I should do with the rest of my life? After thinking all this I just kind of felt...empty. And very tired.

Like I forgot what the point to any of it was. And that scarred me a little.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dark Jimbo 24 February, 2016, 05:14:48 PM
I had a rather peculiar feeling this morning, and it cast something of a shadow over my day. It's been 3 years to the day since I quite college. Most of my friends are in their final year of uni, and i'm still just kind of bumming about trying to decide what to do with my life.

Take it from someone who has been to Uni, Hawk - 80% of those folks still don't know what they want to do with their lives either, they were just trying to put off the real world for another three years.

A few people from my course went straight on to higher education (Masters degrees, etc); everyone else started suffering that same overwhelming, existential panic (that 'Oh shit, what now?!' feeling) as the third year crawled inexorably towards its end.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 24 February, 2016, 05:21:51 PM
Maybe because of unreasonable top-down societal pressure. You know, all those parasites in the upper echelons who call you a failure because you don't have the "qualifications" to pay them oodles of tax money. Screw 'em. It's your life, live it your way - not theirs.

Never forget that you are a being of infinite worth and potential. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dark Jimbo 24 February, 2016, 05:37:50 PM
I think it's as simple and primal as fear of the unknown - at certain moments in life you're aware of a yawning mist-filled chasm suddenly opening beneath your feet labelled 'the future'. It's one whopping great mystery and you're about to fall straight into it. Who wouldn't panic just a bit?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 24 February, 2016, 07:31:16 PM
One thing that might help others is how to deal with "dark thoughts." I used to get these a lot - you know the kind of thing, imagining punching someone or hurting yourself - and then worrying about them for ages after. I realised they're just random thoughts, everyone has them. Now I just shrug and say to myself, "it's just a thought, it doesn't mean anything," and let it go. I own my thoughts, or try to. Appreciate the "good" ones and cast the "bad" ones aside.

An old friend of mine who was forever locked in a battle with the dark mutt once told me the phrase "a thoughtie isn't a naughty" - which is as weirdly illogical and cheesy as it is bizarrely unforgettable and quite comforting. Your bad thoughts can't hurt other people - only yourself and nor can they drive you to do things. Therefore attaching guilt or anxiety to them - when they're ephemeral things that never solidify - is a pointless exercise.

In terms of hard-won resolution turning to frustration - don't let that determination ebb away when the solutions aren't immediately forthcoming TB. More than likely what'll help you won't take the form you were envisioning in the first place!

Glad CBT did the job for you DD - it sets you up for the longer game by making you break apart negative things as they're occurring and not letting them grow in you. Someone once said that thought patterns are like unofficial footpaths forged into grassy fields, and you'll naturally follow the most indented route. The more you trudge along the negative path, the more permanent it becomes. You are surrounded by grass, and new trails can always be made. (Insert pretense-shattering oops-there's-the-farmer-you're-trespassing reference here)

I'd back this 100%.  I think the most pernicious aspect of the hound is the guilt and anger that is connected with how we end up thinking about our thinking.  Getting angry and frustrated with ourselves is way too easy and ultimately counterproductive.  The best strategy I've come across is the defusion technique of 'radio angry' or 'the old black memory show'.  Every time I catch one of those thoughts or memories I run the stupid presenter voice.  It shifts the thought or memory into a silly perspective and helps it lose its power.  Sounds really stupid but is I find it incredibly effective.  Still have the thoughts / memories but don't fuse with them so much any more or for as long.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 09 March, 2016, 04:46:49 PM
The Black Dog made an unwelcome visit again this week. I've been all too aware recently if my disintegrating social life. Work leaves me so emotionally exhausted that I hardly leave the house, and all my close friend have been out of touch for some time now. Added to that...I'm just incredibly lonely. I'm surrounded by people but at the same time feel like I'm completely isolated. Most of my dive buddies are at least twice my age and lovely as they are the age bracket shows. I've even considered looking at shared accommodation just to alleviate it a little. I like doing things alone, but it's starting to get to the point where I'm shutting myself off from everyone else, and I can't let myself do that.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 09 March, 2016, 04:59:15 PM
Sorry to hear that, Hawkie. At least you've got us - which is less than ideal, I know, but better than nothing. Have a look in the local paper, maybe, and see if there are any clubs or something you fancy having a go at. Reading circles, rambling clubs or whatever. Try something new, meet new people. Just a suggestion. Chin up, fella, and I hope things improve for you soon.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 09 March, 2016, 05:19:01 PM
Yes, thank you Sharky. This place is honestly a massive godsend, easily the most laid back forum I've ever been a member of, and a member of...5 years*? Jeez, I feel old.

*The next one would be a cult cinema forum for two years. Jumped ship when one mid went crazy and started handing suspensions out like candy.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 09 March, 2016, 05:21:30 PM
Feckoff candy? Bandy?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 09 March, 2016, 05:49:23 PM
Advice that I can't follow but is the best advice i can give to anyone suffering.  'DON't SELF MEDICATE"
GIVE IT ALL UP!!!!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 09 March, 2016, 06:03:17 PM
Agree with that. Haven't had a joint since last October/November(ish) and feel miles better for it. I don't drink* due to my job, so that's also good.
.
*I'm not tee-total, sometimes I'll have a drink with friends but very rarely.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dandontdare 09 March, 2016, 06:33:56 PM
I don't have much choice - I've just been diagnosed with angina so will have to give up my beloved pipe and cut down the beer. I'm worried that this will lead to depression and/or stress. I do find myself getting stressed and irritable whenever I take a break from the weed - with it, I can look at the world's shittiness with mellow bemusement, rather than  getting mightily  wound up by it all. I gave up alcohol completely for a few years after a bout of acute pancreatitis in 2001 and got pretty depressed after that. It was such a joy when I could start again!

I can't complain - I've had decades of good food, beer, fags and drugs, and had an absolute ball, so if I now need to pay the piper and get healthier, it's only fair
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 09 March, 2016, 07:02:46 PM
Sorry to hear about the diagnosis, DDD, be well, okay? I need people of your calibre shouting at me on various threads hereabouts!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 09 March, 2016, 07:29:15 PM
Best wishes Ddd.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 09 March, 2016, 08:06:05 PM
Best of luck, DDD; hope it all works out. I lead a pretty unhealthy life too and am not getting any younger; i think I'll have to sort myself out soon before I'm forced to.

Also, best of luck to you too HM; I know what it's like.  I was extremely shy and lonely when I was young, but in my thirties my social life suddenly improved vastly (mainly due to my job at the time teaching English to foreigners).
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 10 March, 2016, 11:27:19 AM
The Black Dog made an unwelcome visit again this week. I've been all too aware recently if my disintegrating social life. Work leaves me so emotionally exhausted that I hardly leave the house, and all my close friend have been out of touch for some time now. Added to that...I'm just incredibly lonely. I'm surrounded by people but at the same time feel like I'm completely isolated. Most of my dive buddies are at least twice my age and lovely as they are the age bracket shows. I've even considered looking at shared accommodation just to alleviate it a little. I like doing things alone, but it's starting to get to the point where I'm shutting myself off from everyone else, and I can't let myself do that.

Hawk I just wanted to echo Sharky's sentiments and wish you the best fella. I totally agree that this place is a good place.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 12 March, 2016, 07:17:33 PM
Off to see the brain doctor next week. Apparently as a student I get 10 sessions free. So here's hoping they can cure me by then :D

I feel sorry for whoever gets me though. They have never had anyone this messed up in there before
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 13 March, 2016, 08:07:07 AM
I feel sorry for whoever gets me though. They have never had anyone this messed up in there before

Had the 'pleasure' of a work allocated counsellor once before.  Her comment at the end of the last session was the she had never worked with anyone as difficult before.  :o
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 13 March, 2016, 09:50:10 AM
I feel sorry for whoever gets me though. They have never had anyone this messed up in there before

Had the 'pleasure' of a work allocated counsellor once before.  Her comment at the end of the last session was the she had never worked with anyone as difficult before.  :o
I had the complete opposit after 10 weeks of counselling, apparently I was one of the more open and easy to work with. It was those weeks I realised that as bad as my problems are, I have a home, a functioning family (of gobshites), hobbies to keep me busy and job experience and opportunities. I might not be in an ideal position, but i'm grateful i'm not in a worse one.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 13 March, 2016, 11:53:05 AM
Aye, one of my colleagues at work has a son with Leukemia.  Kind of puts in perspective.

I do think it was just that she was the wrong counsellor for me.  Tried a different one a few years later and it was far more effective.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 15 March, 2016, 06:27:23 PM
been plagued by black hound this week or more and have discovered I have trichosomething mania as I have been cutting and pulling out my hair,more so recently,so am now down to the and desperately trying to combat the urge  to mess with it ,a peek on the interwebs shows I'm not alone despite feeling it but I haven't found any good advice on how to control the urge to pull/cut,my wife's "just don't do it" isn't as simple as it sounds.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Taryn Tailz 17 March, 2016, 05:13:36 PM
Don't know if this suits the black dog thread (although the contents of a recently locked thread upset me a fair bit) but:

I've just been given my official referral to the Gender Identity Clinic in Glasgow. So I guess this is my coming out as transgender on the forum. 'eek'

Gonna be dropping the name Tim and taking the name Taryn soon.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dandontdare 17 March, 2016, 05:24:42 PM
Nice name!

I'm sure this won't be an easy journey, but hopefully the benefits and peace of mind will far outweigh the inevitable difficulties and shitty attitudes you will face. All the best with that!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: von Boom 17 March, 2016, 05:27:35 PM
Don't know if this suits the black dog thread (although the contents of a recently locked thread upset me a fair bit) but:

I've just been given my official referral to the Gender Identity Clinic in Glasgow. So I guess this is my coming out as transgender on the forum. 'eek'

Gonna be dropping the name Tim and taking the name Taryn soon.

Gutsy. It's your skin and you should live in it the best way that makes you happy. I hope it all goes well for you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Old Tankie 17 March, 2016, 05:29:51 PM
All the very best.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 17 March, 2016, 05:39:36 PM
Don't know if this suits the black dog thread (although the contents of a recently locked thread upset me a fair bit) but:

I've just been given my official referral to the Gender Identity Clinic in Glasgow. So I guess this is my coming out as transgender on the forum. 'eek'

Gonna be dropping the name Tim and taking the name Taryn soon.

indeed, all the best. just be patient with people who cant wrap their head around it. not everyone cis is a monster...we sometimes need a little clarification or a nudge in the right direction.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Taryn Tailz 17 March, 2016, 05:47:32 PM
Thanks everyone. I must say I've had nothing but positive reactions so far, including from my family, so I'm doing well so far. :P

Without going tmi, I'm only intending on going on Hormone Replacement...so know surgery for me. :P I believe that's a fairly common choice though.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 17 March, 2016, 05:52:46 PM
Nice to hear Taryn. Good luck on your journey  :)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 17 March, 2016, 07:32:58 PM
Ditto.  And apologies for the 'fella' earlier on the other thread. 
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Taryn Tailz 17 March, 2016, 07:47:52 PM
Ditto.  And apologies for the 'fella' earlier on the other thread.

Oh, no worries there at all. You weren't to know when you wrote that, plus I still look like a man anyway. ;)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Darren Stephens 17 March, 2016, 08:23:27 PM
Extremely brave of you Taryn, all the best pal. ;)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 17 March, 2016, 09:57:30 PM
Aye, good luck to you. It's not something I understand but, by God, I can see and admire the bravery of it. Great bunch of folk on here to be supportive and sympathetic, too.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 17 March, 2016, 10:49:11 PM
Best of luck mate, always impressive to see people taking steps to be more the person they know they should be. I can't even get round to changing my avatar!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 17 March, 2016, 10:54:27 PM
Thanks everyone. I must say I've had nothing but positive reactions so far, including from my family, so I'm doing well so far. :P

Without going tmi, I'm only intending on going on Hormone Replacement...so know surgery for me. :P I believe that's a fairly common choice though.

Fair play; hope it all goes well and I'm glad you're getting such support.  And Taryn is a much cooler name than Tim... touch of Game of Thrones about it.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 18 March, 2016, 08:00:51 AM
Best o' look Taryn, I know from experience it's not an easy journey (my sister is a transgender youth) but if you don't come out the otherside a radient, confident and over all joyous individual as a result of it then sod the nay sayers!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Colin YNWA 18 March, 2016, 08:32:52 AM
Good luck Taryn. Hope everything goes okay and you get were you want and need to be.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Mattofthespurs 18 March, 2016, 09:02:32 AM
Best of luck.
Hope it all goes well.  :)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 18 March, 2016, 09:40:45 AM
aye, all the best :D
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Steve Green 18 March, 2016, 11:05:03 AM
Best wishes Taryn!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: flip-r mk2 18 March, 2016, 12:40:07 PM
Good luck Taryn :)

filippo
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Taryn Tailz 18 March, 2016, 01:13:26 PM
Thank you all so much for the kind words. :)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 18 March, 2016, 01:21:46 PM
Thank you all so much for the kind words. :)

Just wondering, was this something you always knew you were going to go through with sooner or later? No need to answer if you don't want to, I'm just a bit ignorant of such things and am curious.

In any case, as i said, I'm very happy for you and wish you the best with it.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Taryn Tailz 18 March, 2016, 01:30:13 PM
Thank you all so much for the kind words. :)

Just wondering, was this something you always knew you were going to go through with sooner or later? No need to answer if you don't want to, I'm just a bit ignorant of such things and am curious.

In any case, as i said, I'm very happy for you and wish you the best with it.

It was something I've suspected for the last three or four years, but have only recently come to terms with. I can look back to childhood and see signs of Gender Dysphoria, and through my whole life in fact, but it wasn't until I was about 22 (I'm 25 now) that I started to work out what was wrong. It's kind of strange to say that you know something's wrong but can't put your finger on it, but that's exactly how the first twenty odd years of my life felt.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 18 March, 2016, 01:37:43 PM
Ok, thanks a million. Like i say,  i was just curious because i don't know much about this topic (despite having lived for a while in thailand where it's very much a part of everyday life)  and i really appreciate your interesting response.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 18 March, 2016, 01:42:34 PM
Absolute best wishes.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Woolly 18 March, 2016, 07:22:01 PM
Sorry to add to the thread but..

I've been feeling pretty worthless for some time now. I've lost track with so many friends, just because I don't know what to say to them if I were to get in touch.

I hate my drawing. I've got no grasp of action, perspective, or anything other than someone just stood there. Doing nothing.

I never post any more, thinking my views are just irrelevent. I've missed the last couple of art/story votes due to moping instead of paying attention to dates.
I never even enter the art comps any more - they were my sole reason for drawing at one point!

I live in a friend's flat, I own nothing but a computer, some comics/books and a bed. No savings, and hitting 40 in a couple of weeks. Single too.


It's funny, but it's taken me a week of staring at a computer screen to raise the balls to type all this!
I also hope no-one sees this as a cry for help - think of it as me coming to terms with my issues and trying to start sorting them out.

One thing though - does St John's Wort really have an effect? If I can just get some good feeling and energy back...


And my heartfelt hopes, wishes and love to all other members having a rough time. I do think of you all, even if I don't post to let you know it.
To quote Ringo: "Peace and love, peace and love"  :)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 18 March, 2016, 07:35:02 PM

I also hope no-one sees this as a cry for help - think of it as me coming to terms with my issues and trying to start sorting them out.

Sorry but what is wrong with wanting a bit of help?  There is nowt wrong with wanting someone to give you a bit of support and encouragement.

One thing though - does St John's Wort really have an effect? If I can just get some good feeling and energy back...

Personally I go with Rescue Remedy which does help me.  I don't care if it is a placebo because it has the desired effect.

I've lost track with so many friends, just because I don't know what to say to them if I were to get in touch.

Maybe it is worth reaching out to a few old friends with a bit of a 'hello' and seeing where it goes.  Those that are worth knowing will always be supportive.

Hang in there.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 18 March, 2016, 07:53:26 PM
Woolly, you are not alone and you are most certainly not worthless. You are a being of infinite worth and potential. You may not believe that right now - but I do.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Woolly 18 March, 2016, 08:26:18 PM

I also hope no-one sees this as a cry for help - think of it as me coming to terms with my issues and trying to start sorting them out.

Sorry but what is wrong with wanting a bit of help?  There is nowt wrong with wanting someone to give you a bit of support and encouragement.


You're absolutely right, I just want to attempt beating this thing myself first.
I love doing things for other people - I just want to start doing them for myself sometimes.*


*Christ, but that sounds selfish! Wasn't meant to!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Woolly 18 March, 2016, 08:28:08 PM
Woolly, you are not alone and you are most certainly not worthless. You are a being of infinite worth and potential. You may not believe that right now - but I do.

Thanks Sharky. I'll get there, just need to stop having such a low opinion of myself.
It comes and goes - this ones just lasted a fair bit of time, i guess.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Jim_Campbell 18 March, 2016, 08:28:30 PM
Sorry to add to the thread but..

I've been feeling pretty worthless for some time now. I've lost track with so many friends, just because I don't know what to say to them if I were to get in touch.

I hate my drawing. I've got no grasp of action, perspective, or anything other than someone just stood there. Doing nothing.

I never post any more, thinking my views are just irrelevent. I've missed the last couple of art/story votes due to moping instead of paying attention to dates.
I never even enter the art comps any more - they were my sole reason for drawing at one point!

I live in a friend's flat, I own nothing but a computer, some comics/books and a bed. No savings, and hitting 40 in a couple of weeks. Single too.


It's funny, but it's taken me a week of staring at a computer screen to raise the balls to type all this!
I also hope no-one sees this as a cry for help - think of it as me coming to terms with my issues and trying to start sorting them out.

One thing though - does St John's Wort really have an effect? If I can just get some good feeling and energy back...


And my heartfelt hopes, wishes and love to all other members having a rough time. I do think of you all, even if I don't post to let you know it.
To quote Ringo: "Peace and love, peace and love"  :)

Got to be worth a try. It's doesn't work for everyone, but it's not quackery:

"The researchers conclude that the preparations of St. John’s wort tested in these studies are superior to placebo and as effective as standard antidepressants in people with major depression. They also have fewer side effects than standard antidepressants."

NHS Source (http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/10October/Pages/StJohn'swortanddepression.aspx)

I take one tablet a day, and up it to two or occasionally three (maximum allowed dose on the tablets I use) when the dark hound starts really scratching at the door. It's hard to prove a negative (ie: what state I would have been in otherwise) but I certainly notice a difference when I don't take it.

Cheers

Jim
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 18 March, 2016, 08:40:04 PM
I live in a friend's flat, I own nothing but a computer, some comics/books and a bed. No savings, and hitting 40 in a couple of weeks. Single too.


Every single word of that was true for me last year.  Things have got much better, though i didn't really believe they would at the time.  I'm pretty sure they will for you as well.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Woolly 18 March, 2016, 08:49:11 PM
I wrote all this as a form of catharthis, but the quick and genuine responses here have warmed the cockles* no end! Thankyou again. Really does help to know that I'm not alone in this, just wish I had some good advice for the rest of you. But then this is the nicest, most reasoned part of the interweb, so we must be doing something right  :)

I'll give the St Johns Wort a try, thanks again for the info on that.
With any luck, you may see me on the art threads again with (gasp) new material!


*No, not those cockles...
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 18 March, 2016, 08:55:32 PM

You're absolutely right, I just want to attempt beating this thing myself first.
I love doing things for other people - I just want to start doing them for myself sometimes.*


*Christ, but that sounds selfish! Wasn't meant to!

Didn't the Bard say 'No Man is an island'?  Drawing on support from others is still 'doing it yourself'.  You choose to accept their support.  If you accept it, that is an action on your part and so is doing it for yourself.  That is not 'selfish' that is responsible.

I'm also going to echo Sharkey's comments.  Accept your own self worth.  It is greater than you think.  You have something to offer and are an individual of value.  The radio 'worthless' station is just one of many.  Just because you hear that broadcast does not mean that you have to accept it.  Thank it for it's commentary and tune in to a new one.

I know you don't believe it right now but you are strong enough.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Jim_Campbell 18 March, 2016, 09:03:21 PM
Didn't the Bard say 'No Man is an island'?

No. But John Donne did. (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/meditation17.php)* :-)

Cheers!

Jim

*See also: "…Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." He could turn a phrase, that Donne.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dark Jimbo 18 March, 2016, 09:16:30 PM
I hate my drawing. I've got no grasp of action, perspective, or anything other than someone just stood there. Doing nothing.

Huh. Art really is one of the most expressive, cathartic, emotionally uplifting things a human can do - but when it all goes wrong it can just be the absolute worst, can't it? I've been sunk into a few minor depressions in my time because my art's going badly - don't know if a down mood has a negative impact on the art, or a loss of art mojo brings on the mood. Either way, they seem to quickly feed each other and start an inexorable downward spiral. I end up feeling that my whole life thus far has been pretty much wasted, and that every drawing I've ever done was worthless.

Suffice to say Woolly that since I joined the board in 2005 your art has been in the top three of those boarders' styles who I've most, and most consistently, envied. You're good, fella! I hope you find a way out of the slump and see your way to picking up a pencil again soon.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 19 March, 2016, 04:45:47 AM

No. But John Donne did. (http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/meditation17.php)* :-)

Cheers!

Jim


Ah, ta.  Not far off then.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: richerthanyou 20 March, 2016, 08:03:49 AM
The depression is getting worse.

But I did find a place selling mint condition discworld books at half the retail price so I'm filling the gaps in my collection.

so life isn't all bad.

Once I run out of books to read I'll be well stuffed mind.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 20 March, 2016, 09:11:07 AM
Hang in there, Richer. You can defeat the dog.
.
Buying stuff, collecting stuff, though, is just a short term patch. The more you have, the more you want, it's a vicious circle. Not what most people want to hear, I know, but I speak from experience. I lost just about everything and, after a time, started to feel happier than I ever have. Sure, sometimes I get down, but not as far down and not for as long.
.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 20 March, 2016, 01:04:12 PM
The depression is getting worse.

But I did find a place selling mint condition discworld books at half the retail price so I'm filling the gaps in my collection.

so life isn't all bad.

Once I run out of books to read I'll be well stuffed mind.

Have you made it to the counselling sessions yet?  I know you were booked in for a few sessions.  Got to be more helpful than just buying stuff.  As Sharky says, owning stuff just to complete collections will not make you happy. 

  But by all means buy them because you want to read them; I remember through one of my worst episodes I trawled through most of Joyce's stuff (as well as books that show you how to make some sense of Joyce's stuff).  A horrible time but the books took my mind off things slightly and ultimately my life was enriched for it.  I'm not sure I'd ever manage Ulysses when I'm otherwise enjoying life.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 20 March, 2016, 01:28:56 PM
JBC is correct, of course. Read and read and read some more, fill your mind with new information and fresh perspectives. It's the contents of the books that's important, not the books themselves.
.
Gawd, but that sounds pompous! Works for me, though.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Woolly 20 March, 2016, 09:16:43 PM
I hate my drawing. I've got no grasp of action, perspective, or anything other than someone just stood there. Doing nothing.

Huh. Art really is one of the most expressive, cathartic, emotionally uplifting things a human can do - but when it all goes wrong it can just be the absolute worst, can't it? I've been sunk into a few minor depressions in my time because my art's going badly - don't know if a down mood has a negative impact on the art, or a loss of art mojo brings on the mood. Either way, they seem to quickly feed each other and start an inexorable downward spiral. I end up feeling that my whole life thus far has been pretty much wasted, and that every drawing I've ever done was worthless.


You've really hit the nail on the head there Jimbo. And thanks for the compliments - for what it's worth I don't think i deserve it, but I'll try to! (if you get my meaning)

Richarthanyou - I too have spent way too much time attaching any happiness to material things - books, films, games - and been depressed when i don't have anything new to distract me.
The encouragement here has inspired me to try and draw something new, regardless what it is.
Have you tried writing?
Just thinking, if you can't find any more books to fill the gaps, maybe try your own?

Best wishes all.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 21 March, 2016, 10:46:50 AM
If you are wanting and able to read,draw etc then you're doing well,i lost count how many times I picked up a book or switched a film on only to think"can't be bothered" this included just going out of the house unless I have to (which I do today) and also explains the trich return after a few days of leaving it alone.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 29 March, 2016, 04:38:09 PM
When I said I had a patch of land in the 'drokking fantastic' thread, it turned out I was wrong. What I have is a far lighter bank account and a knowledge of how property scammers work.

I'm going to focus on the positives in my life; having berated myself at length already for being so stupid. Life lesson: If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Old Tankie 29 March, 2016, 05:27:51 PM
Sorry to hear that, all the best for the future.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 29 March, 2016, 05:34:57 PM
Ah shit. I hope those bastards get arse cancer.

Wish I could do something to help. There's a double bunk in my shack. You'd be welcome to the top one if it wasn't filled with books, powdered milk and washing.

Seriously, I'm just... I don't have the words, JBC, I just don't. F*cking pricks.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 29 March, 2016, 07:35:42 PM
Like TLS says, there just aren't the words JBC.  It is galling that such people 'appear' to get away with this sort of thing.  I hope you've got some evidence of what went on for the authorities.

Love the way your handling it mind.  I can imagine all the recriminations and crap that would be going through my head if I were in the same position.

As Pratchett said (and is enshrined on my classroom door):  Nil Illigitimo Carborundum.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 29 March, 2016, 09:15:25 PM
Thanks, guys.  All I have are his bank account details; going to give them to the police tomorrow though I don't hold out much hope. 

I have a place to live, thankfully; sharing an apartment - not ideal at my age but it could be a lot worse.  Fortunately I didn't give notice or anything.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 29 March, 2016, 09:21:28 PM
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same...

Good to see you're not despairing, JBC. My thoughts are with you and your level-headed attitude is a lesson to us all.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 29 March, 2016, 09:26:42 PM
The reason I put it on this thread is because I've been expecting to spiral off into depression over the incident ; but it hasn't happened yet.

  When I discovered I'd been ripped off, I had just returned from the funeral of an old schoolfriend's 37-year-old wife who died of cancer and left him with two young children to bring up on his own.  Another (very close) friend of mine is battling what was skin cancer and has now developed into a brain tumour.  It kind of puts my problems into perspective -  The money can be made again and I'll get over the disappointment and humiliation.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 30 March, 2016, 09:34:02 AM
That has to be bang to rights JBC.  One of my colleagues at school has a 14 year old son who has been diagnosed with Leukemia.  She has spent most of the past year or so back and forth to hospital with him.  She remains resolutely upbeat even though there are times when she wants to crumble.

Nietzsche put it nicely didn't he: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."  I'm firmly of the view that it is only a failure / mistake if we let it cripple us.  If we can pick ourselves up again, dust ourselves off and throw ourselves back into the fray then we can count it victory.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Professor Bear 30 March, 2016, 12:27:52 PM
One good thing to come out of the Troubles is that there are plenty of bored kneebreakers about, JBC, so if you're willing to put in a bit of detective work and track the scammer down, you can probably get one to beat your money out of him.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 30 March, 2016, 02:57:00 PM
Heh. What's more they'll all be on holidays down south here for the Rising centenary.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 30 March, 2016, 10:41:53 PM
Sorry to hear it Jayzus.  There really are some horrible cretins around.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 31 March, 2016, 11:45:43 AM
Horrible to read this. Useless but best wishes mate.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Proudhuff 31 March, 2016, 12:40:32 PM
JBC hope there is a good outcome for you, and you nail the bastards: nothing wrong with a wee bit revenge and having a 3 min hate each morning.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 31 March, 2016, 07:21:25 PM
Thank you very much, guys.  I've pretty much got over the worst of it already, though hopefully the old bill will dig something up on him - it would be nice to know he wasn't going to try it with anyone else.  That said, it was largely my own fault for being so naive.  He really, really sounded like a decent and genuine sort and totally took me in - that's the nature of the beast, I suppose. 

Proudhuff, funny you should mention a three-minute hate - I try to meditate for ten minutes most mornings but since that have been devoting the 10 minutes to feeling the disappointment and anger as intensely as I can, so that it doesn't bubble under in my subconscious all day.  Seems to be working, so far.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 07 May, 2016, 06:59:19 PM
Dr said here ya go have 20mg of fluoxetine. each time I've gone back all they've doe is raise it to 30mg, now I'm on forty. all l the bloody stuff does is give me heartburn.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 08 May, 2016, 09:09:03 AM
The great Susan Calman had some interesting things to say about dealing with her own depression, which she refers to as the 'crab of hate', in weekend Woman's Hour (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b078w96r). May have to grab the related book.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 11 May, 2016, 01:46:43 PM
having a bad time recently,manifesting itself in the hair cutting /pulling... I feel shit. want desperately not to do it but cant,so have very short hair now after too numerous trips to the barber to sort out the mess I made.just want to leave it alone and let it grow which wasn't a problem before but is at the moment,i know it doesn't sound very serious or black doggish ,but it is to me. just wish someone had better advice than "just shave it off" or "just stop doing it".. :-[
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 11 May, 2016, 03:47:43 PM
It sounds pretty fucking serious to me, Grugz.  Sorry to hear you're going through this; I hope you can somehow find a solution.  Have you looked for professional help about it? 
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 11 May, 2016, 08:39:58 PM
I'm awaiting counselling and "cbt" (though I hope tp god it aint the computerised session I had to before-the dog learnt several new swear words and we nearly found out if the laptop could fly) .

thing is when I look in the mirror it looks all even etc but when I touch it I feel stray long bits not matching the rest and so start snipping but I wonder if my fingers are tricking me as sometimes one bit feels long with the right fingers doesn't with the left...or that could just be my addled brain. :(
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 12 May, 2016, 02:56:31 AM
The only advice I can think of is obvious and simplistic, so I won't insult your intelligence by giving it.

Hang in there, Grugzie, you're not alone and people do care about you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: CrazyFoxMachine 12 May, 2016, 11:33:09 AM
A mate of milady has had that exact problem Grugz - it became such a grim learned habit that she began to tear huge bloody patches of her hair out as she slept. After many years of counselling (and some innovative unremovable sleep-mittens) she's gradually weaned herself to plucking a single hair a day - which she now, mercifully, occasionally forgets to do. So she has consequentially regrown her full head of hair.

Yer not alone sir, and it WILL get better but it won't be instantaneous - but one day all this will seem like a strange strange phase.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Theblazeuk 12 May, 2016, 12:36:21 PM
This may be shit advice and if so I'm sorry, but would wearing a hat help at all? Not the right time of year for it I know but if it's unconscious compulsion maybe the act of your fingers hitting it might disrupt the subconscious enough to help prevent it.

A beanie or something
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 19 May, 2016, 10:05:27 AM
While I'm waiting for "far Harbor" to download I wanted to share that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (not the "they're here!" one) but I have been unemployed now for a few weeks and have started to feel albeit slightly,the stress beginning to lift ,I am having less sleepless nights though that still happens and my ibs is seemingly starting to settle down...apologies if you're eating ,but I had the biggest solidest "normal" poo last night in ages and to be fair,no matter how weird it sounds, I enjoyed it! considering the last one was in hospital dosed up on morphine and was painful..this was bliss... ;)
   I haven't cut or pulled my hair for a few days so hopefully I can carry on.winning.

  I know things have got to me in the past ,even on here and let certain people affect my normally easy going personality which is why I killed mogzilla and returned as grugz (despite some hiccups). Now, I have more time with the wife and daughter ,I'm not coming home in grumps or upset and taking it out on them, my lass has become more of a daddy's girl now which is fab!

  So, everyone who uses this thread ,or doesn't,but has depression etc) hang in there, even if it doesn't feel like it YOU can beat it...

  and now I'm off to pillage and murder stuff in the new fallout dlc.

peace .
xxx
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 19 May, 2016, 10:19:54 AM
Good man, Grugz!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 19 May, 2016, 11:32:34 AM
Good man G!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 19 May, 2016, 11:52:37 AM
Great to hear, Grugzie!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Old Tankie 19 May, 2016, 03:06:32 PM
Good to hear.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Taryn Tailz 19 May, 2016, 06:22:36 PM
One of the girls who attended my trans support group just died. She was only in her twenties. I didn't know her well, but still... :(
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 19 May, 2016, 06:35:57 PM
There are never any decent words.  Just because we don't know people well, doesn't mean they don't affect us in some way.  I always think it is one of the ways we honour those who pass away.  The hole they leave is an acknowledgement that they were someone and they mattered.

Kind of puts my failed job interview in perspective.

Hang in there.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 20 May, 2016, 01:54:19 PM
One of the girls who attended my trans support group just died. She was only in her twenties. I didn't know her well, but still... :(

Really sorry to hear that.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 20 May, 2016, 02:52:38 PM
So young. That really sucks, Taryn, sorry to hear it.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 12 July, 2016, 10:57:39 AM
I recently did an online questionnaire (on a respectable mental health site, not a shitty Facebook link) and it would seem very likely that I have some form of ADHD.  Having looked into it, I realise it explains a lot about me (extreme absent-mindedness, financial wastefulness, procrastination, depression, lack of punctuality - the list goes on).  I also realise now that my mother very probably has an undiagnosed case of it too, which is where I get it - fortunately for her, and me, she's married to my father, a very reliable, punctual and sensible man.

I haven't had it professionally diagnosed yet but I kind of hope it's true - At least I've finally accepted it's an intrinsic part of my personality, for better or worse.  I realise it will never be cured but have started trying to work around it rather than trying to fix it.  Does anyone else have any experience, advice, etc?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 12 July, 2016, 12:16:38 PM
It just means you're human, JBC. I think you trying to work with it, to accept it and fold it into the incomprehensibly complex and wonderful organism that is you is entirely the right way to go. If you attempt to have it "diagnosed" it will be seen as a problem for which medication is required. Regarding it as a problem with yourself (so long as it's not hurting you or anyone else) will just make it worse. Regarding it as an aspect of yourself will make it a potential strength, imho.

“Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have.” Doris Mortman.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 12 July, 2016, 03:01:27 PM
. If you attempt to have it "diagnosed" it will be seen as a problem for which medication is required. ...

Regarding it as an aspect of yourself will make it a potential strength, imho.


Thanks, Sharky; with you on the second part all the way.

Not so much the first part, though, I have to say - I used to suffer from anxiety-related panic attacks, and it's precisely because they were diagnosed by professionals that I recognise them for what they are and don't get them any more.  Also, medicine for psychological problems isn't always a bad thing IMO - it stopped me from having suicidal thoughts, for one thing.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 12 July, 2016, 04:59:18 PM
Aye Jayzus, hope you can find something that helps you get through this time!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 12 July, 2016, 06:36:51 PM
My experience is just different from yours, JBC, that's all. I used to suffer from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and panic attacks as well and was medicated for a long time. I found the medication robbed me of myself and decided to try a different approach without meds. This worked for me but I in no way suggest it would work for everyone. Horses for courses and all that.

Whatever you decide, though, you have my understanding and support.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 12 July, 2016, 06:40:52 PM
I haven't had it professionally diagnosed yet but I kind of hope it's true - At least I've finally accepted it's an intrinsic part of my personality, for better or worse.  I realise it will never be cured but have started trying to work around it rather than trying to fix it. 

I've found Steve Redgrave's line about Diabetes having to live with him both helpful and amusing.  TBH the last week or so has been pretty shitty and yesterday was the icing on cake as anyone who has been following the news about a language teacher's court case in Ipswich might appreciate.  The biggest challenge I find is changing my relationship with effects.  Personally I've found mindfulness very effective for helping to manage and limit the duration of episodes.  I'm not saying it is for everyone but the non judgemental awareness seems to be incredibly useful.  Perhaps rather than working around it, working with it?  Adopting an exploratory posture and simply being curious about the sensations? 

The other technique that I have found useful for the 'mind worm' (bit like ear worm but with all those greatest hits about how shit you are) is treating them like radio stations.  Takes a bit of practice and can sometimes require multiple repetitions but acknowledging the thought stream with, "ah, heard this station before, let's find something better," works for me.  Someone likened the mind to a puppy being toilet trained, have to keep bringing it back to where you want it.

I have a major thing about medication, partly because of family experience.  There are others I know who speak very positively about the experience.  Ultimately you have to make the decision that feels most comfortable for you.  All I would say on that score is that doctors seem a damn sight better at advising and guiding on that matter these days.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 12 July, 2016, 11:50:04 PM
Aye Jayzus, hope you can find something that helps you get through this time!

Cheers, HM, but it's not like this is a sudden crisis or anything - it's an inconvenience I've had my whole life and never realised before.  Now I have some idea of why I'm the way I am I can look into doing something about it.

Tjm, thanks too - I've been trying to practice mindfulness for years and have had some successes with it.  I've started repeating mantras in my head, telling myself to remember things I need and keep things in general order - it seems to be making a difference so far, I'm pleased to say.

Sharky - thanks again for your support.  Really, I'm fine, though - just in the process of making a few small adjustments to make life more manageable.

 I don't think I need any more medication.  I already take a fairly low dosage of Lexapro for depression - I haven't had hardcore, debilitating depression in years, and just over a tenner a month (with no noticeable side effects whatsoever) is a small price to pay for relative peace of mind.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Eric Plumrose 13 July, 2016, 10:29:00 AM
Currently going through one of my milder manic modes, hence my engaging online far more than I usually care to. I just wanna comment, comment, comment and I fucking hate it. Just let me lurk, already.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 13 July, 2016, 01:28:23 PM
Hang in there, Eric.  It'll pass
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 15 July, 2016, 11:06:21 AM
I recently did an online questionnaire (on a respectable mental health site, not a shitty Facebook link) and it would seem very likely that I have some form of ADHD.  Having looked into it, I realise it explains a lot about me (extreme absent-mindedness, financial wastefulness, procrastination, depression, lack of punctuality - the list goes on).  I also realise now that my mother very probably has an undiagnosed case of it too, which is where I get it - fortunately for her, and me, she's married to my father, a very reliable, punctual and sensible man.

I haven't had it professionally diagnosed yet but I kind of hope it's true - At least I've finally accepted it's an intrinsic part of my personality, for better or worse.  I realise it will never be cured but have started trying to work around it rather than trying to fix it.  Does anyone else have any experience, advice, etc?

JB best wishes with all this. As a youth worker I developed and was involved in focused work with ADHD young people. I was basically asked to develop it with no background in in it whatsoever and had to involve myself in a huge bit of research and cross organisational work with other youth work providers and health professionals.

Anyhoo mate-take care and the very best to you.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 15 July, 2016, 10:37:53 PM
Thanks very much, Prodigal.  I should point out that I still haven't actually been diagnosed as having it, but it does seem very likely now that I know what the symptoms are.  Since I learned about it recently I've made some fairly big improvements in my life already (mostly by just getting myself in the habit of repeated mental memos).
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 13 October, 2016, 02:01:50 PM
I'm back to feeling incredibly lethargic and ultimately aimless right now. My attempts at finding work have proved fruitless, the money I save over the summer is running out fast, and I don't have a clue what i'm doing with my life right now.

Eh, maybe todays just a bad day, but for the first time in a good while I woke up with a very cynicle feeling of 'I just can't be fucking bothered'.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 13 October, 2016, 07:51:38 PM
I had a big long post, Hawkie, all about living your life your way and not giving in to the idea that your life is a race or a route march and going your own way and not letting the bastards grind you down and find time to have some fun and all shit like that. Anyway, it was trite and obvious so I deleted it.

My best to you, Hawkie. I know you'll find your way.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 13 October, 2016, 09:01:12 PM
didn't you have a job lined up?  I'm a bit like that at the moment ,in a cant be arsed mood sometimes don't even get dressed or eat. maybe its just a blip hawk, hang in there,things do have a way of working out.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 14 October, 2016, 06:17:59 PM
Thanks chaps. Sadly not, Grugz, only interviews. I'm sure something will come up...
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 14 October, 2016, 07:27:26 PM
I can sympathise Hawk.  It's a nightmare when it kicks in.  I'm working through the terror's at the moment.  One class at school is giving me a hell of a runaround and nothing is working.  It's kicking off the bottom line something chronic.  Two days until I have to face them again and already I'm starting to fret.  This is bonkers!  Anyway, hope you pull out soon.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 14 October, 2016, 09:24:04 PM
Hate that feeling, Hawk, and I speak as one who has just eaten an entire tub of humous while watching board game reviews on YouTube, despite having twenty million pressing things that need doing. Sometimes it all seems a bit pointless, but you know this'll pass, and you job hunt will pay off eventually.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 15 October, 2016, 01:42:43 AM
you ate humous?  I didn't realise things had gotten so bad!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 15 October, 2016, 08:03:44 AM
Hearing's going, thought the wife asked if I fancied tasty chicks peeing in the tub. Hey, it's Friday night, thought I.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 15 October, 2016, 10:04:02 AM
i assume there are spcialist websites for that...if only thryllseeker was still here,i bet he had a link!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Woolly 15 October, 2016, 07:42:05 PM
For what it's worth, I truly enjoy the occasional day spent without trousers and watching crap on youtube  :thumbsup: I can't stand humous though.

Had a bad day on this thread a while back, took the advice given (thanks especially to Jim for his suggestion) and think I'm feeling a bit better these days. Certainly still have the bad days, but now see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel for once. Still not quite drawing yet, but I'm finding myself thinking about drawing more often, so...

Wish I had some good advice for my fellow jobseekers on the board - I'm lucky to be working, but hate the place I'm at if I'm honest. Just taking a break from writing a lengthy 'suitability for the job' bit for a temp position with the council. Which is why this post reads a bit like a massive brain fart.

Sorry, I've really added nothing.
As you were!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 16 October, 2016, 12:43:21 AM
Life sure is complex. Mine's like a mad god's game of Tetris, sometimes. One where the shuttle isn't going to launch at the end. One that ends with an unusually succinct fart and not a ding-a-ling fanfare.

God but I'm tired.

My life's in the toilet. Maybe not all the way in but at least clinging to the seat. I mostly enjoy my job but what the heck, man. I'm fifty years old and got nothing to show for it except scars. I live in a shed. With a dog. And some spiders.

I can turn my back on the things I believe in and go back, or not. That question plagues me. I never wanted to be here. I wanted to live in a big house with a big family, a big dog and a big car. That was all. Nothing fancy. But instead I got this. Pisses me off, so it does. Gets me down. Black dog comes snapping at the back of my brain and he brings his Bitch Queen with him; Self-doubt, to snuffle about in my hind-brain.

Times like this I go back to first principles. Start with the fundamentals; to be, or not to be. I'm firmly in the to be camp. Feeling a bit better now because that's a positive answer. Question Two, what kind of to be do I want my to be to be? Then it all turns to shit because I don't know and I'm back where I started. Living in a shed with a Jack Russel and some lousy spiders.

And then I count my blessings; at least I've got a shed to live in, some people haven't even got that; I'm relatively healthy but supremely unfit, lots of people are medically knackered; I have a job, the randomness of it a joy and a pain, too many people don't even... Wait a minute, are these measly things the best blessings I can think of? My lazy-arsed attitude to exercise, a job and a shed with a Jack Russel and some spiders in it? Ffs.

But that's one more day of sticking to my path, wherever it might lead on its way to that last great hole in the world. Another one chalked up. No unusually succinct fart today.

God but I'm tired.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 16 October, 2016, 01:13:30 PM
Stay gold, Sharky, I want to give some advice the same way you've often given ME but sadly I'm not so wise.

Chin up fellow, we'll all get there eventually.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 16 October, 2016, 01:19:53 PM

But that's one more day of sticking to my path, wherever it might lead on its way to that last great hole in the world.

I know what you mean - I really hadn't planned to be single, financially struggling and sharing an apartment at 41.  I hadn't really planned anything really; I never wanted to be a middle-aged man so I shut it out of my mind when I was younger. 

But then I think back to 4 years ago, when I was penniless in Beijing, living in a hostel room with 12 other people and spending my days racing round the city from one low-paid job to the next as an illegal worker.  I think of my brother, who now lives full-time in hospital looking after his terminally ill baby.  And my best mate, whose skin cancer has spread to his brain and devastated his health (and appearance for that matter).  And indeed all the people in Aleppo watching their families die and their home city being turned to rubble. 

Things could be a whole lot worse, when you think of it.





: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 16 October, 2016, 01:57:58 PM
Feel for you Sharky - it's easy to look at your life and wonder quite how far below even the most modest expectations it is. And in your situation I imagine it's easier than it is for most of us. However, as Jayzus says you don't have to look far to see the flipside, how immeasurably better your life is than for so many others.

 I've been struggling with the usual feelings of crushing inadequacy myself as  an upturn in work brings me back into contact with my career contemporaries (now as a distant underling), who almost universally appear to be thriving in well-paid interesting pensionable jobs while I earn the same as a third-year apprentice at 45, and for 7 years have done nothing but service my debts: 'luckily' this has been balanced by my attempts to support one of my best mates, whose life has completely imploded after a sudden bereavement and the knock-on effects that appear to have torn his remaining family apart. It doesn't prevent me berating myself for my own gross failures and derelicitions, but listening to such awful grief and almost instant isolation in someone who I would previously have considered very popular socially and the definition of comfortable certainly forces me to have some perspective.

None of which helps you there Sharky, and there is little advice more trite that 'Count your blessings', but well, sometimes it can help. Easy to say when not facing into another winter in the shed, I know.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: ZenArcade 16 October, 2016, 02:28:39 PM
Sorry to hear if this guys....It sounds dreadful. Z

PS posted a wee pic on Threadjacking...hopefully to cheer the Shark up!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 16 October, 2016, 04:14:23 PM
Thanks, chaps.

I hate whining like this but sometimes it helps to get this crap into words, to pin it down. I think Bill's death might have hit me harder than I realised but I'm pretty sure I'll bounce back. That's what we humans tend to do, I think. Besides, if it wasn't for feeling miserable I wouldn't appreciate the happiness.

Look at that, I must be on my way back if I can see the bright side of misery!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 16 October, 2016, 04:23:30 PM
 I am a firm believer in fate/karma etc and think that things do happen for a reason , I lost my job was drowning in debt and ready to catch the bus at one particularly low point. Now, still unemployed but thanks to iva debt free, not known as grumpy dad and am closer to my daughter than ever before (even if our constant teasing each other winds my wife up)  my health is still at a low though not as life threatening as it was last year and my wifes health is slowly getting worse but I always (now) have to see a bright future .


  but failing all that have a gander


  http://metro.co.uk/2016/10/16/mans-penis-amputated-after-using-bottle-as-a-sex-toy-6195227/

there always someone worse off. to quote a cliché !

  hang in there fellas.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Modern Panther 16 October, 2016, 05:28:21 PM
I've been trying for a while to type a comment voicing support.  I know though, that the last thing anyone wants to hear when they're low is some bloke saying "hey, express your feeling, man.  It'll help", like some internet based hippy.

 Truth is though, that it does.  The lie that is depression swirls around inside your head until it becomes the truth.  It wasn't until I was sat down and essentially forced into telling someone how shitty I felt everyday that I was able to realise that, although being sad is sometimes a perfectly reasonable response, that doesn't mean that it had to dominate my life.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Radbacker 18 October, 2016, 03:30:13 PM
well after 25 yrs as a pretty heavy Weed Smoker I've giotten help to get off the stuff, shit its hard and now my mind is reminding me of all the shit things about life that led me to spending the last 25 years in a stoned stupour (i was generally stonned form the minute i got up to the time i went to bed).  I;ve been using it as a fall back to beat depression and various other issues (stress, sadness and social anxiety, who'd have thiunk weed made me less paranoid! i seem to have ignored for 26years (its' awfully hard to stay stressed over anything when your buzzing it all just floats away (sure its still there when you straighten out but thats why i stayued stoned for 25 years).  Well i now have a lovely wife and a baby on the way it really is time to stop being a miserable 16 year old and f^&ken grow up.
Docs given me some nice meds to help with the depression and a pack of Vals to help with the stress (the Vals are only a 30 pack and thats all I'm getting but it should be ample to help get through the first few weeks to help kill that anxiety i get in public, and wait for the proper meds to kick in last thing i want is to replac one mionkey on my back with another.
So big Pharma have finaly got me off the unnregulated happy stuff that they get no cut from and now i'm probably goung to be slave to their drugs but hey if it keeps the missus happy (and me ahppy too I supose) thats the way to go, also way cheaper $30 for month supply compaired to $500 per month on the green. i am hoping afte ra bit of counceling to help me find myself proeprly (when you've been smoking hardcore for 25 years you kind of becom eRadbacker the stonner i dont seem to have any other person I am butr thats what i've got to find and hoping the counciling will help me achieve that.
Anyway needed to get that off my back, good luck tyo everyone else it took me years to get the help but thats really what you need in the situations you simply can not deal with this sort of problem yourself professional help is needed.

CU Radbacker
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 18 October, 2016, 03:47:02 PM
nice one rads, hope you manage to kick the vile stuff for good
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 18 October, 2016, 03:50:18 PM
Wow, that's an impressive change to make RB!  500 a month, even in Aus Dollars/Stirling, that was quite a habit!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 18 October, 2016, 11:39:08 PM
Fecking hell, it certainly is.  Sometimes it's Small Pharma that's ripping you off.

I've never quite understood how people can use weed to treat depression (though I know plenty who do) - for me it tends to make my brain race way too fast, overthink everything, get paranoid  and wish it could unstone itself as quickly as possible.  It took me many years of smoking it to realise that though.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: sheridan 19 October, 2016, 12:26:01 AM
Good luck Rads, and congratulations on impending babyness!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Radbacker 19 October, 2016, 12:27:41 AM
Thanks guys, yeah it was alot but sometimes it was alot more (this stuff cost a bundle in OZ I used to by Ounces of the stuff thinking it would save me some $ but then i'd just smoke twice as much) I still functioned, still worked, buying a house a car etc so I didn't really see it as a problem till recently.  The bub on the way really opened my eyes up I just hope i haven't damaged my realationship with my wife too much befor ei made the choice.

CU Radbacker
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 October, 2016, 09:12:23 AM
Oh FFS.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 28 October, 2016, 09:36:36 AM
Oh FFS.
What's up Tordels old boy?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 28 October, 2016, 12:32:48 PM
You okay, Tordels?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 October, 2016, 03:51:44 PM
Just the pup of eternal bleakness sinking its needlesharps into my ankle. Been doing well staying just ahead of it these past months, admittedly with a large expenditure of energy on the subject, but as of this morning I've apparently fallen far enough behind to get bit. Trivial triggers as usual. Onwards.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: paddykafka 28 October, 2016, 04:21:19 PM
And most importantly... upwards. :)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 28 October, 2016, 04:41:11 PM
Just remember as well that sometimes it is perfectly 'natural' to feel crappy and don't beat yourself up over it.  Nothing worse than the negative feedback loop of

"oh shit, I feel useless" > " I shouldn't feel useless, I'm useless" > "Oh FFS I feel useless cos I can't stop feeling useless ... " > ad infinitum.

Sorry, I think I stopped talking to you Tordels old chap and started talking to myself!  Anyhoo, hang in there pal.  Might not be all right, but at least it will be.  If that makes sense.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 28 October, 2016, 05:40:11 PM
Peace and strength to you, Tordels.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 28 October, 2016, 06:05:40 PM
aye, wot he said tordels.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 29 October, 2016, 12:00:19 AM
Thoughts are with you, Tordelback. Nothing we can say can make you feel better, but I really hope you do, soon
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 29 October, 2016, 08:40:13 AM
Cheers gents.  Keeping some perspective.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 29 October, 2016, 11:51:40 AM
Thoughts are with you, Tordelback. Nothing we can say can make you feel better, but I really hope you do, soon

This.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 November, 2016, 12:25:26 PM
I'm feeling it creeping up on me and I don't know what to do.  I've been struggling financially - but (with the help of my father) have taken a loan out to buy a boat to l live on.  I was delighted for weeks but now look around and everyone has families, kids, mortgages, a steady income, holidays abroad.  I'm single; I'm attracted to women who are unavailable, and I have little or nothing to offer them anyway.  All I can see is middle age, financial instability and loneliness.  I take the tablets but sometimes the depression is stronger.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 06 November, 2016, 02:11:29 PM
I can fully sympathise with the feelings that your situation can generate JBC.  I've finally decided to make an appointment to see the doctor about the anxiety and depression that seems to have spiked in the last two months.  It's a combination of the change of job, an incredibly challenging class and an underlying condition. 

I guess what I am saying is that I can fully appreciate where you are coming from. It is not easy, in fact it can be bloody hard at times.  The emotions feel like they are overwhelming and you wish it would just stop.  It is hard to be optimistic when there doesn't seem much to be optimistic about.

Don't make the mistake of thinking your life is any less because it doesn't have the same as those around you.  They probably look at you and your independence with envy, locked into jobs they hate and one pay check away from financial disaster.  They're probably on pins about what they would do if they lost their job tomorrow.  Most people are bloody good actors!

All I can say is hang in there pal.  It doesn't get easier but you do get through it.  Plenty of folks here are rooting for you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 06 November, 2016, 04:27:28 PM
I'm rooting for you too, JBC.

I feel much the same way. I've been sitting here trying to think of something useful to write, something not reading like either self-pity or self-righteousness. Nothing doing, sorry. Not sure if anything I could possibly write would be of help anyway. What works for me (and let's face it, what works for me doesn't always work for me) probably won't work for you. After all, I don't even have a map of the path I'm on so I'm hardly qualified to give other people directions.

I suppose, really, the only help I can give is of the slimmest consequence. I am adrift on the same ocean. I think we all are. Most people are anchored together in a big, fragile web. Sometimes the anchors break free and we are at the mercy of the Tides. The only things to do then are stay afloat, keep a beady eye on the tiger in the lifeboat with you and look for a place to drop anchor. Just turn her into the waves and press on. This storm, too, shall pass.

I remember once going with my Dad to work. He was driving a tipper lorry for a motorway maintenance firm and I'd be about sixteen or seventeen at the time. I was bored so my Dad gave me to one of the sand depot's JCB drivers for the rest of the day. I don't remember the JCB driver's name. He was old and sly and Irish and gave me a crash course in JCB driving. At one point, atop the high sand-pile, the JCB started to topple over, unbalanced by a crumbling edge and a full front bucket. I felt sure we were doomed but the JCB Driver simply swivelled the cab and extended the back actor to balance the machine out. He looked down at me, dead rollie clamped in his sly mouth, and said something I never forgot.

"It's not the way the wind blows but how the sails are set."

He then f*ucked off for a rest-of-the-day tea-break and left me to do his job; filling tippers and husbanding the sand pile. I loved it.

Anyway. Ocean, wind blows, sail-set. Most important, though; not alone. We're lucky our lifeboats have internet connections.

Looks like I settled for self-righteous. Sorry about that.


: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 November, 2016, 04:40:19 PM
Thanks a million, tjm.  You're right, of course; the grass is always greener etc.  Being totally honest what led to this particular episode was getting to know a girl I really liked and got on incredibly well with; and starting to fall for her despite knowing that she has a family of her own that I would never break up (even if she had any intention of it, which she doesn't).  I looked at how her husband can provide for her and their kids in a way that I couldn't possibly do, and started to feel very inadequate.  And then crushingly lonely with it. I'm 41 and still haven't grown out of clubs, parties and festivals (and she is pretty much the same, but can switch it off and go back to being a mother and wife the next day, while I wake up still thinking I'm 21).
These are the things that my mind fixates itself on, and spirals out of control.  I rarely have real, deep romantic feelings for anyone, but when I do it always leads to pain and suffering in the end.  It's why I've generally remained single, but that's no real defence.

EDIT - just seen your post now, Sharky.  Thanks so much.  It took me a while to work out the meaning of the driver's words, but now I see what he meant.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 06 November, 2016, 06:02:13 PM
Ah - so there's a woman involved.

Well, that's me officially out of my depth.

My love life can be summed up in three Nerd Moments. First, in the film Excalibur, Merlin tells Arthur something like, "Hearth and home, wife and family - these things are not for you." I always felt these things were not for me, either - not because I have some species of Arthurian Destiny but precisely the opposite. And now I look about and realise that I was correct, for what right would I have to drag a partner down the path I have taken? No right. No right at all.

The second Nerd Moment comes from City Slickers and the story of Curly's perfect love. The story, as far as I recall, goes as follows: Curly is out riding the range. He's got many miles behind him and many miles to go. He's tired, hungry, thirsty. So he rides towards a remote farmstead to buy or beg a meal but, as he rides up, he sees the most beautiful woman he could imagine pegging out the washing. In that moment, in that pose, in that light - she was perfect. So Curly turned and rode away. Having experienced perfection, he knew nothing could improve on it. I too have had my perfect moment - in my case, a perfect month - and nothing could improve on it. I've stopped looking because there's no point. Like Captain Kirk (Nerd Moment 2a), I've always known I'll die alone.

However...

Nerd Moment Number Three is from Babylon 5, I think from the In the Beginning t.v. movie. A lowly palace servant girl, touched by Emperor Londo's confessional story, reaches out a hand to him. Londo almost doesn't recognise the gesture and when he does it saddens him. "Dear Lady," he says, or words to this effect, "I would like nothing better than to walk with you on a beach. Somewhere. For just a few minutes. Strange," he continues, the matchless Peter Jurasik projecting oceans of regret, "to have come so far and to want so little."

Me too, Londo. I'd like to walk on that beach, somewhere, hand-in-hand with that dear lady, for just a few minutes. Sometimes, I think I'd give everything for that. But - anything more than that walk? I don't think so. I mean, she's going to have to be a Hell of a woman to counteract all three and a half of my Nerd Moments and, as I'm far from being a Hell of a man, not very choosy. Every time a pretty woman smiles at me (and "pretty" means more than just looks) I get a brief fulfilment of the Beach Fantasy. I could fall in love with almost any woman who smiled at me once with her eyes. I hear most men are soppy like that.

Even though there exist a great many reasons why I do, and indeed should, live alone, I am not without a human soul. I'd say that I'm content to be single up to 90% of the time. That 10%, though, can be tough. I've got nobody to f*ck about hoovering and faffing about when I'm trying to read a book but, conversely, nobody to say, "hey, listen to this sentence," to, either. And, sometimes, it would be joy to spend a cold winter's night in the shed cuddled up to a warm woman with hot eyes. An independently rich libertarian pole-dancer, ideally. 

What was I saying? Oh right. Women: I can't help you when it comes to women. From what I've seen, when it comes to women there isn't a single bloke who isn't out of his depth. That's why I have my three and a half Nerd Moments, they're like a makeshift lifejacket.

None of which is very helpful, I guess.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 06 November, 2016, 06:54:41 PM
I can relate JBC, albeit from long ago.  Personally I've been blessed with an insanely understanding and supportive wife of over 20 years.  She has put up with the ups and downs of my condition and stabilised me in ways that I cannot even begin to thank her for.  In my youth I had similar experiences to the ones you describe and can recall how it felt.  You have my heartfelt sympathies. 

What I would say though is to take her friendship as the gift that it is and focus on that aspect of it.  She obviously sees something of value in you that means she wants to spend time with you, values you as a human being.  And if push comes to shove just remember Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "Love in the Time of Cholera."  The perfect book for the unrequited lover!

Love TLS' JCB anecdote.  Another cracker!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Heath C Ackley 06 November, 2016, 07:23:33 PM
I hope things get better JBC I really do. I recently suffered a break-up that left me lonely, temporarily parted from two kids - though not mine by blood but always in my heart - and homeless. If it wasn't for the support of my family and friends I would be living in my car and in a very sorry state.

A close family member suffers from depression and I know how much of a struggle things can be.

I (hopefully) should be moving into a flat next weekend but starting again at my age is going to be hard. I've faced dark times before and I'm determined not to fall into that pit again.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 November, 2016, 08:08:27 PM
Thanks, guys, I appreciate all the support, I really do.  Really, my problems are nothing compared to what other people suffer (as I pointed out myself earlier in the thread).  But it's really nice to have this thread to discuss things with people who understand.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 07 November, 2016, 11:28:30 AM
Ach Jayzus, sorry to hear you're struggling. I'm outrageously lucky enough to have the wife-and-2.5-kids (well, the eldest is a bit pudgy...), and thank feck for that because I'd be dead in a ditch long since without them, but this is the thing about depression: all that good fortune doesn't matter a jot.  In fact, my very darkest moments are almost always about the degree to which I am a complete disaster as a husband and father, and how I've ruined their lives with my ongoing uselessness, and everyone would be better off if... well, you can fill in the rest.

What you might imagine as a major measure of success in life, a wonderful wife and children, is the very stick depression beats me with, and the obstacle I find hardest to get past when I'm climbing back to 'normal' - because those shortcomings have been further worsened by whatever episode I'm caught up in.

Point of anecdote, depression is not an artefact of a hard life, or level of real-world tribulation endured. It's stuff what is broke in your noggin.

Right now I'm just disturbed by Sharkie identifying with Emperor Molari, a genocidal despot by any measure...
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: I, Cosh 07 November, 2016, 11:38:07 AM
Right now I'm just disturbed by Sharkie identifying with Emperor Molari, a genocidal despot by any measure...
Great hair though.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 07 November, 2016, 11:41:37 AM
J you're one of the most decent fellas I have never met. Best wishes to you fella. I wish I had more-if I had I would direct it your way in a heartbeat.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Bat King 07 November, 2016, 12:15:18 PM
I'm struggling at the moment.  Thought Bubble was a lovely island of freedom from it - but that's gone and I'm back where I was.

Currently it's my physical health causing most coffee my depression. I've been very ill with three months in Hospital earlier this year, many on here know about that. It isn't essential to know what is wrong but you can read the gory facts here  (https://judgetutorsemple.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/dont-take-your-health-for-granted-mh-potential-triggers-crisis-surgery-death-eating-disorders/)

I'm still in a mess physically though much stronger and mostly back at work (off sick today due to physical issue and more so the depression it is causing).

I long to be normal and in this physical sense there is such a normal that people can expect to have.

But I know I have Depression and I know it is a fickle thing.  Like Tordel I often get bouts of depression about my kids, who are the best thing in my life. I had custody of them after my divorce and if I hadn't I'd never have made it.

I often feel my mental illness has ruined my childrens' lives.  They don't. I dwell on minute details, of single events where I think I failed them. They don't. Not only don't they dwell on those events they don't even remember them or do remember and don't think I did anything wrong.

There are a few that I know did affect them and oddly I cope with those better. I say 'oddly' but those ones have been addressed, so I guess that's why I cope with those better. They are very small in number and the ones that torture me are far more in number.

So I know that my Depression isn't always based on things that are real. Though the big bit at the moment is... Sadly neither of those things helpn when I'm in a full blown Depression...

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 07 November, 2016, 01:42:57 PM
Thanks again, all.  I've tried to write words of support on this thread for other people in the past, but often felt that nothing I could say could ease their depression.  But in my case, your posts really have helped me.  I appreciate it.  It's true of course that depression is something wrong with your own mind rather than outside ills - my brother, as I've mentioned before, is living in a hospital caring for his terminally ill baby, and though his life is falling apart, he doesn't suffer depression as I know it.

Bat King; I really hope your mental and physical health improves soon. 
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 07 November, 2016, 07:52:32 PM
I dwell on minute details, of single events where I think I failed them. They don't. Not only don't they dwell on those events they don't even remember them or do remember and don't think I did anything wrong.


This is probably the worst part of depression etc, the amplification of errors.  What we see as a major catastrophe is for others a minor blip / normal event.  It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it what it is like.  Nor is it easy to explain the emotional accompaniment.

I personally think this is where therapies like CBT have it right, or at least do for me, where they focus on a more balanced analysis of events that try to offload the emotional baggage.  I think the same is true of thankfulness exercises where we do spend a bit of time reviewing things that we have to be grateful for.  Kids is definitely one for my money. 

Thought Bubble isn't gone Bats, it's just over for this year.  If nothing else you still have the memories and those are just as real as anything else in your head.  Savour them while they are still fresh perhaps?

My biggest challenge is changing my relationship with the anxiety / depression effects of my condition.  Treating it as an interesting visitor, distancing from it and simply letting it be there.  Rather than the old feedback loop that led to some very interesting places.  Today was another roller coaster of terror / anxiety but I got to the end of it.  I hope your (and JBC's) day looks a little brighter with hindsight.

There's an odd song that keeps looping around my head from time to time.  I can't for the life of me remember what film I remember it from but it seems to fit at times.  I remembered enough of the lyrics to be able to track it down:

I Just Want To Celebrate another day of living,
I Just Want To Celebrate, another day of life.
I put my faith in the people, but the people let me down,
So I turn the other way and carry on anyhow.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 07 November, 2016, 09:22:13 PM
Watch it, Tordels - I have access to mass-drivers, you know...

Is quipping okay on this thread? I don't know if quipping's okay on this thread. I hope so, because even though this is a seriously serious thread it could sure use a chuckle now and then.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 07 November, 2016, 10:14:55 PM
Watch it, Tordels - I have access to mass-drivers, you know...

(http://img2.thejournal.ie/inline/2059148/original/?width=630&version=2059148)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 07 November, 2016, 10:48:31 PM
Tordelback wins five more internets to add to his collection.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Grugz 07 November, 2016, 11:29:14 PM
Watch it, Tordels - I have access to mass-drivers, you know...

Is quipping okay on this thread? I don't know if quipping's okay on this thread. I hope so, because even though this is a seriously serious thread it could sure use a chuckle now and then.

  aye quipping is fine, I've been accused of making light of illness before and y'know what I have and would do again, its often better to try and make fun of life especially your own or the alternative is feeling sorry for yourself and letting the black mutt gnaw your leg off (been there got the t-shirt) and ranting and telling everyone with your tales of woe helps too just don't bottle nowt up, again I know that doesn't help!

  I was accused of being selfish and good at playing the victim in the past, I was upset at that but thinking about it ,yes I am and sod you cos if its being selfish to want to get you back to being you however you do it then be so.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Eric Plumrose 09 November, 2016, 06:22:52 PM
So. Precedent Trump. Takes the edge of Bricksit. For now.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 09 November, 2016, 08:19:40 PM
I know.  I was already beginning to hate the world I was waking up to every morning. Now I hate it more.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Theblazeuk 10 November, 2016, 11:29:51 AM
Yeah, I woke up this morning with anxiety about my wife's health, money and what kind of future we're heading towards for the first time in ages. Not really something I suffer from.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 10 November, 2016, 11:46:43 AM
Shit. Hope you don't get it too bad, blaze. I'd forgotten just how dreadful the anxiety / depression vicious circle is. 
Me, I've been trying to eat and sleep well, and have avoided alcohol for a few days (I'm normally a very frequent, if not always heavy, drinker). I also had a long chat on the phone last night with a friend and fellow sufferer. I'm beginning to feel just a tiny bit better (or at least less terrible). Hopefully I'll continue to improve.

I hope everyone else here is doing OK. These are grim times and it's not easy to keep things together.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 23 February, 2017, 11:58:11 AM
6 Ways to Deal with Panic Attacks. (http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mental-health/6-ways-to-deal-with-panic-attacks)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 23 February, 2017, 12:20:25 PM
6 Ways to Deal with Panic Attacks. (http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mental-health/6-ways-to-deal-with-panic-attacks)

Something very amusing about this appearing next to your Shark avatar!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 23 February, 2017, 12:30:56 PM
Heh, I am Captain Dichotomy!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 23 February, 2017, 01:45:34 PM
I think I might have seen that one before.  Also, having just started with Citalopram for anxiety I've discovered that one of the things that they do is ..... wait for it ..... increase your anxiety!  And don't get me started on some of the other side effects.   :-*
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 23 February, 2017, 03:30:26 PM
I felt better after going off all the drugs and starting with meditation and mindfulness instead. The second major beneficial factor in my ongoing recovery was the alteration of my mindset. I decided not to rely on the government (and I can hear the groans from here but hear me out) or its lackeys. The thing is, I'd spent all my life relying on the systems put in place by government to sort out my problems for me but they obviously weren't working on any but the most trivial and basic levels. I'd go to the state-sanctioned doctor and he'd give me the state-sanctioned diagnosis of "depression and anxiety" and immediately give me state-sanctioned drugs produced by state-sanctioned companies. The upshot of this was that the drugs robbed me of myself and made things worse, somehow hiding what was wrong with me behind a chemical fog rather than offering anything like a cure - masking the symptoms instead of curing the dis-ease. So I f*cked them off, all of them, and after a truly miserable and terrifying few months emerged stronger, clearer and more self-confident than I've ever been. I know that it's incredibly unpopular and quite possibly insulting to say, but in the simplest terms I did nothing more than "pull myself together." I stand up for myself, now, and it's amazing how many people hate or deride me for it - which you'd think would make things worse but, strangely, has completely the opposite effect. It makes me feel strong and confident to stand, as much as I can, without support. YMMV but it definitely worked for me.

Our modern society, it seems to me, relies way, way, way too much on chemical solutions when simple exercise and decent diet can do so much for all kinds of maladies and diseases. When it comes to surgeries, I think modern medicine verges on the miraculous because, sadly, surgical techniques have advanced so far because of warfare. We are almost wizards when it comes to putting damaged bodies back together. The drugs side, however, is driven by profit and therefore far less advanced. A psychiatrist once told me that my condition was due to a "chemical imbalance in the brain." When I asked him which chemicals were out of balance, and how he could tell without drawing and analysing a sample of cerebro-spinal fluid, he was flummoxed. His plan was to chuck artificial chemicals into my brain, the most complex organ I possess, at random until I felt better. That was the point when it became clear to me that most modern pharmaceuticals are little better than snake oil.

The above is not medical advice. The above is merely my personal experience and opinion.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 23 February, 2017, 03:40:51 PM
Thing is, I've been round the houses with mindfulness and meditation and so forth.  Last year has been a little too interesting despite constant efforts to 'pull meself together'.  Glad to hear that your way worked for you mind.  I'm just trying to figure out how to get past this.  Mind you the roots are about thirty years old so I think trying to sort it out in a matter of months might be a tad optimistic.  This is going to take time and effort.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 23 February, 2017, 04:39:49 PM
I hope you don't think I was telling you to pull yourself together - I really wasn't - it's just the only way I can simply explain how I approached the problem myself. 7 billion people = 7 billion solutions.

I'm always here, on the other end of a PM or eMail, if ever you need me.

Invitation open to all.

M.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 23 February, 2017, 04:49:15 PM
Cheers pal, no not at all.  I know better than that.  Biggest problem with text based communication, it misses out so much of human communication!!!!!

I'm with you 100%  What works for you / me may not work for someone else.  I've fought off the meds for a long time but am at the point where I need to explore them as an option.  Just need some help to clear out the old mine field (nearly typed mind field then interestingly enough).

I'm really glad your way worked for you.  Like wise too.

T
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 23 February, 2017, 05:08:52 PM
I love this forum.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 April, 2017, 11:09:44 AM
I'm going downhill again. I hate it.  I was romantically involved with a woman for precisely 2 weeks (though we have had a flirtatious, affectionate kind of friendship for over twenty years) and it hasn't worked out, and I feel ridiculous for being hit so hard by it. She made me feel more alive than I had been in years and now it's over I see how empty my life has been for so long.  How would I react if it had been a long-term relationship? These are the reasons I normally don't get involved.  Relationships have always led to pain and misery for me.
So far this year my best friend has died and so has my baby niece, and only this tiny relationship breakup has led me to true depression.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 27 April, 2017, 11:36:14 AM
So sorry to hear that, JBC.

Not wanting to sound all Marjorie Proops but, are you sure it's over? Two weeks is a mere explosion of time, nowhere near long enough to get to know someone - especially a female woman of the mysterious sex. Couldn't you at least remain friends? A relationship doesn't have to be all or nothing. I have a few female friends, a couple of them ex-lovers, and I find being with them most enjoyable - they're always trying to pair me off with "someone they know."

I know it hurts but don't let it grind you down, mate. You're not stupid or cruel, so far as I can tell, and that's worth a lot. You are a being of infinite worth and potential - all you have to do is believe it (chicks dig self-belief...) - and don't cut all ties because it didn't work out. Be friends, if you can, I think you'll find it's worth it.

Okay, pop-psych gobbledegook over. Be well, my friend, my heart is with you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 27 April, 2017, 11:57:34 AM
JB once again I wish I had magic words but I don't. All I can do is to show solidarity and wish you well as you wade through the trenches.

Please know that you are not alone and you are genuinely being thought of mate (if you are still going to Enniskillen I will buy you one there).



: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 April, 2017, 12:31:07 PM
Thank you very much, guys. Sharky, I will remain friends with her; I have known her most of my adult life and I don't really want to throw that away right now.  We finshed on very good terms (if not on my terms) and I would hate to throw our friendship away.

Prodigal, thank you so much - I'm not sure I'll make it to Enniskillen now; money is a bit tight, but we'll see what happens.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Steven Denton 27 April, 2017, 12:35:10 PM
I think I might have seen that one before.  Also, having just started with Citalopram for anxiety I've discovered that one of the things that they do is ..... wait for it ..... increase your anxiety!  And don't get me started on some of the other side effects.   :-*

I was prescribed Citalopram and after it settled in (took about two weeks) it actually seemed to do me some good.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Steven Denton 27 April, 2017, 12:51:58 PM
I'm going downhill again. I hate it.  I was romantically involved with a woman for precisely 2 weeks (though we have had a flirtatious, affectionate kind of friendship for over twenty years) and it hasn't worked out, and I feel ridiculous for being hit so hard by it. She made me feel more alive than I had been in years and now it's over I see how empty my life has been for so long.  How would I react if it had been a long-term relationship? These are the reasons I normally don't get involved.  Relationships have always led to pain and misery for me.
So far this year my best friend has died and so has my baby niece, and only this tiny relationship breakup has led me to true depression.

It doesn't sound like a tiny breakup to me.

Dating is emotionally unforgiving, I have been surprised by how hard the sudden rejection of women I don't even really know after a couple of dates has hit me, even if I'm not that interested! I spend weeks wondering what I did wrong, if there is something fundamentally unattractive about me as a person, if I'm too old for dating, if I'll ever find any one. It's an over reaction and it tends to subside relatively quickly.

You have had a terrible year and emotions are cumulative not compartmentalised. what you are feeling is likely the sum total of your grief and depression. Emotional peaks and troughs don't follow logical rules so you should never beat yourself up about being more upset over something than another thing.



: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dark Jimbo 27 April, 2017, 12:57:47 PM
You have had a terrible year and emotions are cumulative not compartmentalised. what you are feeling is likely the sum total of your grief and depression. Emotional peaks and troughs don't follow logical rules so you should never beat yourself up about being more upset over something than another thing.

Can't do better than what Steve said here!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 27 April, 2017, 01:02:44 PM
Yes, Steve hits the nail on the head there. Go easy on yourself, JBC, you've had a shit time of it lately, and personally I can't imagine (or recall) any relationship SNAFU more horrible than a failed romance with a good friend.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Proudhuff 27 April, 2017, 01:17:45 PM
You have had a terrible year and emotions are cumulative not compartmentalised. what you are feeling is likely the sum total of your grief and depression. Emotional peaks and troughs don't follow logical rules so you should never beat yourself up about being more upset over something than another thing.

Can't do better than what Steve said here!

Having been through a bit and in a similar kinda thing myself  JBC, the above is spot on. The important thing is to  keep talking and feeding to good positive side of you and dont give the dark wolf any scraps of emotions to play with.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 April, 2017, 02:45:03 PM
Thank you very much, your support really does help.  Steven, I think you are probably right and you have very accurately described how my mind is working right now.  After months and months being surrounded by illness, death and people who have been affected by it I am only trying now to piece a social life back together. The woman in question proved to be a huge ray of sunshine in what has been a very dark period for me and I feel it all the more now our brief affair is over.

She herself had a massive breakup last year which devastated her (I know this because I met her soon after it happened) , and also last year was nearly driven to suicide by chronic back pain (which seems to have abated somewhat but will probably never go away completely).  But I can't help blaming myself.  I wanted it to work, I knew there was always a spark between us and now it's gone and I don't really know why.

Thanks for listening to me, I can't help feeling like it's self-indulgent moping but I don't really know where else I can share it.  Who would have thought a website about a sci-fi comic could provide such support?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Steven Denton 27 April, 2017, 03:25:28 PM

Thanks for listening to me, I can't help feeling like it's self-indulgent moping but I don't really know where else I can share it.  Who would have thought a website about a sci-fi comic could provide such support?

A website about a sci-fi comic is exactly where I would go for support. Most of us are cut from a similar cloth.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 April, 2017, 03:46:17 PM
True enough.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 27 April, 2017, 06:08:26 PM
But I can't help blaming myself.  I wanted it to work, I knew there was always a spark between us and now it's gone and I don't really know why.


This is the most natural reaction in the world, particularly when you invest so much of yourself in it.  As you say, life has been pretty relentless for you this year so that brief and ecstatic period must have felt wonderful, making the sudden crumbling all the more challenging.  Just remember to be kind with yourself over how you are feeling so you don't get sucked in to the cycle of 'I'm feeling shitty but I shouldn't feel shitty so I feel even more ...'  (ah, you know what I mean!)

I do also wonder, considering that it appears to have come out of left field and this is based on some of your additional information, if some of this is about her difficulties.  This could be nerves based on past experience, you mentioned the break up last year and she is cautious about committing too deeply.  She may just need to develop a stronger trust in you, not because of you but because of her, in which case she is setting out a bit of a less intense relationship for a time to acclimatise.

Of course I could be completely wrong about this since I haven't the first clue about women.  Having been married for over 20 years I can safely use the back hundredth of a first class stamp to write everything I am sure about.  So feel free to completely and utterly ignore this!

PS - nowt wrong with a bit of moping.  In fact based on your responses I wouldn't consider it that at all, more reaching out to the similarly afflicted!

PPS - was thinking that this thread had been quiet for a while.  Nowt since Feb.  We must be doing okay.  (says the man who had a meltdown today as well!)  ::) 
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 April, 2017, 08:36:44 PM
But I can't help blaming myself.  I wanted it to work, I knew there was always a spark between us and now it's gone and I don't really know why.


This is the most natural reaction in the world, particularly when you invest so much of yourself in it.  As you say, life has been pretty relentless for you this year so that brief and ecstatic period must have felt wonderful, making the sudden crumbling all the more challenging.  Just remember to be kind with yourself over how you are feeling so you don't get sucked in to the cycle of 'I'm feeling shitty but I shouldn't feel shitty so I feel even more ...'  (ah, you know what I mean!)

I do also wonder, considering that it appears to have come out of left field and this is based on some of your additional information, if some of this is about her difficulties.  This could be nerves based on past experience, you mentioned the break up last year and she is cautious about committing too deeply.  She may just need to develop a stronger trust in you, not because of you but because of her, in which case she is setting out a bit of a less intense relationship for a time to acclimatise.

Of course I could be completely wrong about this since I haven't the first clue about women.  Having been married for over 20 years I can safely use the back hundredth of a first class stamp to write everything I am sure about.  So feel free to completely and utterly ignore this!

PS - nowt wrong with a bit of moping.  In fact based on your responses I wouldn't consider it that at all, more reaching out to the similarly afflicted!

PPS - was thinking that this thread had been quiet for a while.  Nowt since Feb.  We must be doing okay.  (says the man who had a meltdown today as well!)  ::)

Thank you for your kind words. All of these messages of support really help, honestly. I don't really know who else to talk to - i cant afford counselling right now and despite having a loving family, I'm not especially close to them and we don't talk much about personal issues. It's the Irish way, unfortunately.

I don't really think she wants a relationship beyond friendship to be honest, and i don't want to chase a lost cause (believe me, I've done it before, and it was a disaster).

In a way she was a major part of my best years - she was there the first night i became a raver kid and she was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. She is still beautiful 22 years later and a lot of best memories are wrapped up in her so maybe that's why it feels like I'm losing much more than a couple of fun dates.

Thanks again to you, Tim, and everyone else here - it genuinely is a huge comfort to have like-minded people who listen and care.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 27 April, 2017, 09:30:03 PM

Thank you for your kind words. All of these messages of support really help, honestly. I don't really know who else to talk to - i cant afford counselling right now and despite having a loving family, I'm not especially close to them and we don't talk much about personal issues. It's the Irish way, unfortunately.


I'm not sure any of us are that close to family, or that it is particularly healthy.  Personally I find that I have to give my mother a wide berth unless I want a trigger event. That said, she is potentially more screwed up than me (if the is at all possible) so there is no surprise there.

Counsellors are worth their weight in gold if they are good, otherwise they're about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.  Again, having met with both ...

Sometimes all we need to do is sound off and unload, with someone actually validating us as human beings.  A simple acknowledgement of the authenticity of our pain, a recognition of the challenges that we face and a validation of our struggles. 

When we find someone that we feel is accepting of who we are, warts and all, then that is a blessing beyond comparison.  Mainly because it is all so rare.  That is something that is hard to let go of.

Personally I love both the self awareness and the self respect that you have in allowing this lass to be honest with you, as hard as it is.  That takes a lot of courage.  It also shows a lot of love for her, that you value her friendship more than anything else and want to give her what she needs.  Maybe that will allow this to evolve into something that meets your needs as well but in a way that you can't see right now.

Lots of folks with you pal, and at the risk of putting myself in the firing line considering some of the sentiments expressed on this site (fully understanding why), praying for you as well.  Stay safe my friend.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 27 April, 2017, 09:44:56 PM
Thanks again, you're a true gentleman.

I hope you got over your meltdown today too! If you want to talk about it I owe you a listening ear.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 09 May, 2017, 09:49:26 PM
I've been reading through this thread and my heart goes out to all squaxx who have been suffering, or are currently suffering, from this bloody shite.
I've not been on the board for a good while, largely because my own black dog took a chunk out of me a few years ago and left me less of a person. Even now, after six months of talking therapy, Sertraline, a new wife and a baby on the way, I'm still nowhere near where I should be.
Tordleback's description above is on the money for me as well- I just bumble through my life, with nothing really making a difference, essentially waiting for it all to stop.
I'm very lucky that my wife is a mental health professional and cuts me lots of slack/ helps me through, but after 25 years of this (close to half my life!) I see no real chance of "getting better".
Anyway, to all who are living with it: keep going. Get tablets. Talk to a professional. Do all the stuff they tell you- exercise, get fresh air, eat well, don't drink, stop smoking. Do whatever it takes. And use this forum as a sounding board if necessary- experience tells me there are often splendid people here.

SBT(r)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 10 May, 2017, 06:32:37 AM
Welcome back, SBT! I'd echo everything you say except for the bit about tablets - but that's just because I feel much better without them. Also, take time out to smell the roses - watch a sunset, contemplate the stars, listen to the birds - all that real stuff about our wonderful world. Thumb your nose at all those artificial problems - the ones made by people - from time to time.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 10 May, 2017, 10:17:22 AM
Welcome back, SBT! I'd echo everything you say except for the bit about tablets - but that's just because I feel much better without them. Also, take time out to smell the roses - watch a sunset, contemplate the stars, listen to the birds - all that real stuff about our wonderful world. Thumb your nose at all those artificial problems - the ones made by people - from time to time.

I feel better with the tablets, personally.  But they're not the be-all and end-all - mindfulness and CBT techniques are essential if your brain is faulty like mine, but medication is a very useful crutch and has possibly saved my life in the past.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Prodigal2 10 May, 2017, 10:49:47 AM
I hope this doesn't sound like meaningless gush, but this forum has been a fantastic fringe benefit in all sorts of ways for this old duffer when he picked up a copy of 2000AD a few years back.

A quality, quality place this.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 10 May, 2017, 11:12:59 AM
I wouldn't tell anyone not to take the tablets, just to be clear. Personally, I wasn't convinced of their efficacy and decided that taking them wasn't for me - a decision I do not regret. Anyone who finds them useful finds them useful and that's that. I suppose there are as many approaches to beating depression as there are brains, we each have to find our own path through it.

 Mindfulness is also a great asset in the arsenal against the Shady Woofer.

Glad you like this place, Prodigal - it can get a bit lively and "claws-out" on certain threads from time to time but we're (mostly) decent enough folk!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 10 May, 2017, 11:15:57 AM
Welcome back, Steev! Amazed and delighted hear you and your missus are with sprog, you're a braver man than I to be adding to what already seems like a veritable  Brady Bunch of joy at our advanced stage of decrepitude.

I teeter repeatedly on the edge of the medication route, and am still terrified of it, but to be honest I think the idea that it's there if I can't hack it through cognitive shenanigans and continual teeth-gritting is a massive comfort: and one fostered by advice and accounts on this very thread.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 10 May, 2017, 02:35:12 PM
Ah, thanks guys. Yeah, nice to be back. And yeah, another sprogling to add to the six we already have between us. Hey ho. Maybe it'll be a girl this time.
Regarding medication, I should have said "take meds if they work for you", obviously. Personally, they do for me (although this time they have proved problematic), but if you choose other ways to deal with this hideous horror then, basically, whatever works- as long as it does.
I remember some times, back when I wasn't dealing with it all very well, that contact with Board members (either here, on fb, or in the flesh) was close to being all that got me through the day. The benefits of this forum can be massively underappreciated.
SBT
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Proudhuff 10 May, 2017, 02:39:55 PM
SBT ! great to have you back, :wave:
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Bolt-01 10 May, 2017, 05:43:08 PM
Welcome back SBT. You have been missed, old boy.

And congrats on the impending newbie, too.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: SuperSurfer 10 May, 2017, 10:53:18 PM
Great to have you back, SBT.

You know that you have to recite the full Ace Trucking poem so you can be accepted back into our gang.

"I was boiling down the mainlane shrugging jeckyl by the mil…"
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 11 May, 2017, 06:19:36 PM
Well i've been battle the black dog again myself recently, as those who know me on the faceybooks know. This is at present however a strange kind of anxiety i've not felt before, it's kind of like melancholy, but what i'm so sad about i'm not sure. By all intents and purposes my life has never been better. Full time, well paid work with a good employer, a small but close circle of friends who I love dearly, good marks in Uni and a bunch of muppets online whom i'm eternally grateful to have listen to me spill my heart out without any kinda of snark or hate to concern me.

So why can't I shake this feeling of the blues? Am I missing something, forgetting something, a subconscious realization that all these years trying to cure my condition turned up for nought? I can't decide. To those who know me through social media are quite likely aware I laid out a little concise post about how my autism, anxiety and depression have cohabited for decades, and the cocktail of insanity it drove me to for years after. I feel like i'm starting to get over that ridge in my life and things are looking OK, maybe this melancholy is my mind reacting to me actually being NICE to myself. I don't know.

Emotions are still obviously not the forte of one with autism, it would seem.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Mister Pops 11 May, 2017, 06:29:13 PM
The blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling bad
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 11 May, 2017, 06:33:33 PM
This is at present however a strange kind of anxiety i've not felt before, it's kind of like melancholy, but what i'm so sad about i'm not sure. By all intents and purposes my life has never been better.

The Bard has your back, Hawky:  "In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.  It wearies me; you say it wearies you. But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, what stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn.
 And such a want-wit sadness makes of me, that I have much ado to know myself".  All you need is to bankrupt a Jew and marry his daughter off to your best mate and you'll be right as rain, just like Antonio.

Don't think what you describe has much to do with autism specifically: sounds sadly like all-too-familiar vanilla depression to me, in that I could have written that post myself (although obviously not in as cool and youthful a fashion).  Shit though it is, there is the Actual Reality that when you get through this spell (and you will) you should still have all those good things waiting for you. 
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 11 May, 2017, 07:25:52 PM
There's so much wrong with the world, so much suffering and dis-ease, so much bullshit and fog, that when things are okay for me it can make me blue like that. It's not guilt, exactly, not feeling unworthy of the good in my life when so many are mired in shit - it's more like realising how little it takes to cheer me up and how little it takes to cheer anyone up. I want everyone to have that little and I think it's knowing that they either overlook it or have it withheld from them that makes my happiness turn blue.

And then I think, "drokk 'em, I'm gonna enjoy my happy anyway. Ain't no sin in that."
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 11 May, 2017, 11:13:03 PM
Hard to know what advice to give to you, HM, other than to wait till it passes - awful as it is, it will pass.  Not quite through my own spell yet but I'm getting there; things don't seem quite as terrible as they did a week or two back, and I've had days that I've actually more or less enjoyed despite the hovering black clouds.  I hope you get out the other side too.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 12 May, 2017, 03:04:24 PM
How Baking, Cooking & Other Daily Activities Help Promote Happiness and Alleviate Depression and Anxiety. (http://www.openculture.com/2017/05/how-baking-cooking-other-daily-activities-help-promote-happiness-and-alleviate-depression-and-anxiety.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpenCulture+%28Open+Culture%29)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 12 May, 2017, 10:05:13 PM
3 Toxic Thinking Habits That Feed Your Insecurity. (http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mental-health/3-toxic-thinking-habits-that-feed-your-insecurity?utm_source=QDT20170512&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=quickanddirtytips)

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 16 May, 2017, 08:50:26 PM
So why can't I shake this feeling of the blues? Am I missing something, forgetting something, a subconscious realization that all these years trying to cure my condition turned up for nought? I can't decide.

Sorry, Hawkie, just noticed this one.  Partially due to my own meltdown which has now landed me in trouble with my Head.  (note to all, secondary teaching and BPD are not a good combination at times!).  This is something that I can relate to.  Sometimes it just feels like the other shoe is going to drop at any moment?

For me the hyper vigilance that I used to survive as a nipper carried through to adult life and only in the last few years as I've been dealing with the fallout of my school experience has it started to shift.  The thing is though, shifting it after nearly 30 years is not easy.  I'm learning how amazingly flexible the human brain can be but also how long it can take to rewire pathways that have been embedded for that long.  Not impossible but damn difficult.  What I'm trying to say is that for me, the 'blue' feeling is sometimes a learned habit that I'm working on shifting.  Does that make sense?

I find as well that it helps to reframe, in fact I've stumbled across research recently that has looked at reappraisal / reframing as a simple technique for anxiety.  I know that I'm going to have slip ups from time to time (last couple of weeks being a classic case in point!) but I'm trying to teach myself to view them as learning experiences, pick out what I can from them and just ignore them / shrug them off if there is nothing new there.

Have a little compassion on yourself fella.  Sometimes it is good to just 'feel' and let it roll.  That avoids the feedback loop that triggers the anxiety to boot.

PS - you don't have to just have Autism to struggle with emotions!  You might also want to have a look at Lisa Feldman Barrett's book "How Emotions are Made" for a different perspective.  Her theory of constructed emotion is interesting.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Andy Lambert 18 May, 2017, 10:55:27 PM
Well now... funny the threads you come across when you venture out of the usual area you've stayed in.

As a depression sufferer myself, it's lovely to find a place here where people can share their thoughts, concerns and support.
I'm not exactly in the best place at the moment but my mind set is generally okay at present. I have been taking medication though I've stopped lately... I've come to wonder if the 'flatness' one feels on prescription drugs is actually any better than the depression itself. You might feel the lows sometimes, but you sometimes get to feel the highs too. Anti-depressants tend to suppress any feeling, which obviously is a good thing when you feel like shit. It could blow up in my face at any time though - something could trigger a dark spell and I won't be drugged up to deal with it.

My current concerns are more about anxiety and a lack of confidence, but at least the black dog itself is keeping a discreet distance for the time being.

I sincerely hope everyone here who's suffered or is currently suffering is finding the support they need, and if I'm able to help in any way, I will.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 29 May, 2017, 10:33:47 AM
It's great to see that this thread has been so quiet for so long.  Hope that means that things are going okay for folks.  Personally, this year has gone from bad to worse and it is interesting to see exactly how extreme the anxiety can get.  Having told my line manager about my difficulties seems to have made matters worse rather than better.  Currently this feels exactly the same as it did back at St Georges.  Sort of come full circle.

Work is now going to hell in a hand basket and even with half term terror is the only way to describe the current state.  I guess having the letter through the post about capability on saturday was not the most helpful.  Union on the case too but have to wait until I get back to see what is happening next. 

At the moment it is all I can do to keep from doing anything really stupid but I know that is not going to help.  Concentrating on anything at all is a chore and a half so I'm just taking things in small doses.  The littlest thing can set me off, dropping something even ...

Sorry for being so down.  I know that this will pass but I just need to get it out there.  Like I say, glad that everyone else is doing okay right now.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 29 May, 2017, 11:21:38 AM
Strength and love to you, Tjm. Don't feel too lonely in your difficulties, silence doesn't necessarily mean all is well. That can be the worst part, sometimes, imagining that everyone else is okay and it's only me in this damnable black fog. I'm not suggesting that other people being in a similar place should cheer you up, of course, but that plenty of us know and understand.

And never, ever apologise for being down - certainly not on this thread.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 29 May, 2017, 12:13:33 PM
cheers pal.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 29 May, 2017, 02:02:21 PM
Strength and love to you, Tjm. Don't feel too lonely in your difficulties, silence doesn't necessarily mean all is well. That can be the worst part, sometimes, imagining that everyone else is okay and it's only me in this damnable black fog. I'm not suggesting that other people being in a similar place should cheer you up, of course, but that plenty of us know and understand.

And never, ever apologise for being down - certainly not on this thread.

What the Shark said
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 05 June, 2017, 06:39:32 AM
My wife pointed out something that I hadn't realised, the timing of the anxiety increase.  As bad as it has been this year, the last few weeks have been an order of magnitude greater than I have experienced in a long time.  Up to and including full blown anxiety attacks that have come out of the blue for no discernible reason.  Except it appears that there may be a reason; the new medication and the dosage increase.  Going with an adjustment back down reduced the effect and left things manageable.  The anxiety is still there but at a far lower level.  Superb!

On the plus side at least now I've some idea of why I went so completely off the rails.  Just wish I'd twigged sooner.  Granted there is an underlying reason for the anxiety but not at the levels I was experiencing.  So, back to the docs again.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 11 February, 2018, 07:23:22 AM
The Real Causes Of Depression Have Been Discovered, And They’re Not What You Think. (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-hari-depression-causes_us_5a6a144de4b0ddb658c46a21?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004)


: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 11 February, 2018, 11:30:10 AM
At the risk of sounding glib in response to the author of this article; no s*** Sherlock!

Or perhaps it's just the case that if you've spent the best part of thirty odd years dealing with that then it just seems obvious.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 11 February, 2018, 11:36:44 AM
I agree. Obvious to sufferers but maybe not so much to partners, doctors and the wider public - many of whom still believe in the "broken brain" myth.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 11 February, 2018, 12:23:13 PM
Or in the case of a hell of a lot of employers, the 'just bloody awkward' myth.  In regards to partners, I must have been particularly blessed in that regard.  I don't know that I'd still be here if it wasn't for my wife. 


As an aside:  Never, ever, ever, ever, ever disclose to your line manager that you have a mental health problem.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: DrJomster 11 February, 2018, 10:12:48 PM
Hang on in there, good people. It will get better.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Eric Plumrose 14 February, 2018, 10:40:55 PM
The Real Causes Of Depression Have Been Discovered, And They’re Not What You Think. (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-hari-depression-causes_us_5a6a144de4b0ddb658c46a21?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004)

Ah, damn. The author uses the 'c' word.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 17 April, 2018, 09:00:53 PM
I know it's been a while since this thread has seen any traffic and it seems like I'm the most frequent flier here.  Regrettably my condition seems to be putting the boot in my working life.  A meeting with OH ended with a single refrain; 'have you considered resignation?'  Yes, I have.  Thanks for the vote of encouragement.

All I can say is, I am so glad that so many fellow travellers on this thread have been absent for so long.  Hope that is an indicator of how well things are going.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 17 April, 2018, 09:26:00 PM
Don't listen to them. You are a being of infinite worth and potential and I for one feel privileged to share this community with you.

Strength and love to you, Sir, strength and love.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Theblazeuk 18 April, 2018, 02:16:37 AM
Well don't think you're the only one at all Tjm! I'm fluctuating wildly between thinking I can get things back on track and utterly despairing it of it all. A pattern closely tied to my wife's health in both mental and physical terms.

At the moment work is still an escape of sorts for me, though it's hard to muster up the will to carry on 70% of the time. Anyway - just so you know you're not alone, whether it's in terms of moral support or just other people flying the darker skies.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Bolt-01 18 April, 2018, 09:23:06 AM
Tjm86-

Don't let other people tell you what you should do. I don't know you, or your situation, but don't let yourself be isolated. Communication is key- even if it is just wittering on here about comics. Communication is the key.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 18 April, 2018, 12:12:56 PM
Bolt is spot on.  Talk, talk, talk.  It's when this dark shit echoes and rebounds in your own skull that it amplifies to unbearable levels: let it out into the light and air where it can fuck off.

Equally importantly Tjm, it's never just you.  Been feeling the nip of many sharp canines at the cuffs of my trousers this past while too, but have been managing to keep it at that irritating but still-functional level, hence I haven't been making use of this thread lately (prefering to rant on about Star Wars, and rebut bigots on social media as a release valve).  Although I have come as close as drafting and deleting posts more than once. Reasoning: we're not there yet, and maybe never again.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 18 April, 2018, 01:38:27 PM
Thanks folks.  Blaze, here's to hoping for a positive resolution for you and your wife.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dark Jimbo 18 April, 2018, 05:03:13 PM
You're a trooper, Tim!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 19 April, 2018, 10:06:36 PM
I'm going to repeat my appreciation for folks on this board.  Thank you for your support, I will wear it always.  Ironically today I had an interview for a job and was successful.  I had to demonstrate my skills and the feedback I received was that I was 'a strong practitioner'.  So the gaslighting by my current employer has been demonstrated for what it was and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.  I'm going to let my union sort that one out.

To those who, like me recently, have felt the pull of the dark canine I guess I would say; look up and see what colour the sky is.  My thanks to those who have offered the voice of reason (Jimbo / TLS/ Bolt in particular).  I just hope and pray that fellow travellers draw comfort and support as I have (again Blaze, I'm thinking of you and your wife).
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 19 April, 2018, 10:56:55 PM
Great news on the interview, Tjm, and congratulations. You are obviously too good for the other place!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 28 April, 2018, 09:47:02 AM
Urrrgh, kicking this pup back from the threshold repeatedly is so damn tiring.  Successful so far these past months, but flippineck, it takes up a lot of time and attention: I feel like I have to actively concentrate on everything I'm thinking and doing and constantly steer myself back on track - 'mindfulness' sounds like such a peaceful zenlike state, but brother, it ain't that at all.

But still - keeping on keeping on, well worth it.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 28 April, 2018, 10:33:29 AM
Sorry to hear the dark hound is still nipping at you, Tordels, but glad you're keeping it at bay.

I'm always a bit wary of throwing in my two pennies here because it's different for everybody. Before I lost everything, and whilst I was in the process of losing it, Funky Fido was ever present in my life, its teeth at my throat. Since then, however, it's only made fleeting appearances of a much weaker character.

I would never be so trite as to claim I'm "cured" but the fact is, in my case at least, things can get almost unbelievably better. I wish I knew "the secret" so I could pass it on to you good people.

Perhaps, though, you might take some heart from my experience and know that the Black Dog is not invincible.

Strength and love to you, Tordels, and to all you magnificent dog wrestlers - I salute you!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 28 April, 2018, 10:57:01 AM
I don't think there is a 'secret' as such and ultimately we are all individuals.  We may experience the puppy in different ways and there may be commonalities.  I've found, along with several other friends who manage their conditions, that sharing things we've tried is helpful.  Even if it is something that we've tried, there might be something different about their way that changes things.

TLS is bang on mind, the Dark Canine is not invincible, just bloody persistent!  Annoyingly so, as you say.  I'd also agree on the twee appearance of mindfulness.  I find it helpful to remember that I'm not actually trying to lose the anxiety or depression, rather to come to an accommodation with it that makes it manageable and allows me to function.

I think that is the benefit to the crisis state that I've been working through the last couple of weeks. (which was escalated again yesterday when my old employer decided to change the terms of the provisional settlement!)  At least it's giving my skills a damn good workout.  Way I figure it, if I can get through this crap then I might stand a fighting chance.

Anyways.  I'm going to repeat my appreciation to all who have expressed support.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is currently working with Animal Control, so to speak, and that they do pull through.  Tordels signed it off bang on!

"Thankfully persistence is a great substitute for talent."  Steve Martin.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Colin Zeal 29 May, 2018, 09:31:50 PM
I have had many periods of the black dog. All of which I convince myself aren't really that bad so why bother asking for help or talking to anyone. That attitude doesn't help anyone so my only advice to someone on this subject would be not to hide, be so proud/macho that you think other people are having it worse than you are and you will be fine in the morning. Don't be afraid to ask for help.

That's as much as I have said on this topic in a long time and I will probably leave this thread alone now but reading the previous messages has helped me a lot so thanks to all of you that have posted.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 06 June, 2018, 05:58:06 PM
I move from the dog sitting on me to it barking at me to go for things. Rapid cycling. I have the pills but the hyper stuff helps me in work. win/lose always. Not taking lithium for anyone.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 07 June, 2018, 10:38:03 AM
I've been struggling with the dark beast for years as many folks these parts know through my incessant moaning, but the last 10 months or so have been a peculiar time for my mental health. I lost my last stable job around then, lovely situation it was too, and it was a time where I discovered a close relative was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Throw in a treacherous period in my social life and it was basically some of the worst weeks of my life. It's weird how it's panned out since and I honestly thought i'd be fairing worse than i am. I've had a few short lived jobs I was not sad to see the back off, corporate exploitation of young workers is an all to real reality folks, i've now become a part time carer for my sickened relative, she's coping with the treatment very well and ultimately we're just trying to help her last few months be as stable and happy as possible, and i've found myself surrounded by a new and accepting circle of friends who are far more supportive and endearing to mt situations that the last where. I used to get so worked up on reaching a kind of happiness I only really imagined that when things fell apart it was a struggle to pick myself up again. But honestly it's been a worthwhile experience to learn about valuing life and choosing wisely whom to share your love with.

'Soppy bollocks add infinitive'
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 07 June, 2018, 12:12:00 PM
Good to hear you're coping better, Hawkie, and more power to you.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 07 June, 2018, 01:22:29 PM
I hear what you're saying Hawkie.  I can't claim to have gone through anything anywhere near as bad as what you seem to have.  Although having said that I don't think we do ourselves or anyone else a favour in trying to claim to achieved the worst situation possible.  Our experiences are personal and it is we that have to navigate them.  Anything that attempts to invalidate the impact on us and our ability to cope is just plain wrong.  So it's great to hear how things are going.

It's amazing how things pan out when they do fall apart isn't it?  Now that my union has negotiated a mutual departure things are wrapping up nicely and I've been able to cut myself free from that experience.  Like you, I've also been able to support ill relatives. We don't get that time back do we?  I don't think we truly appreciate how much of a gift it is (although it might not seem it at the time).

I would agree completely with your closing statement about valuing and choosing.  Here's to hoping that the quality of life you're experiencing at present carries you and your family through.  All the best.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 07 June, 2018, 05:03:50 PM
Well wishes Hawkie
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 09 June, 2018, 04:44:27 PM
I'm sorry and will regret this outpouring no doubt...but I'm not doing very well. I have had a lot of fun on this forum...even though you all punctuate better than me. #feelingsorryformeyself
#ignore
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 09 June, 2018, 05:34:00 PM
Strength and love to you, Auxlen, I hope things improve for you soon.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 09 June, 2018, 06:31:22 PM
What TLS said, Auxlen, hang in there pal.  Too many of us have been there and can fully appreciate where you're coming from.  Nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself , it's perfectly normal.  No way you're going to get ignored round these parts when you pop your head in for help.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 09 June, 2018, 11:27:42 PM
I'm sorry and will regret this outpouring no doubt...but I'm not doing very well. I have had a lot of fun on this forum...even though you all punctuate better than me. #feelingsorryformeyself
#ignore

No need for regrets, you're talking to people who know exactly how you feel.  All I can say is, it doesn't last forever
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 10 June, 2018, 09:23:21 PM
I'm sorry and will regret this outpouring no doubt...but I'm not doing very well. I have had a lot of fun on this forum...even though you all punctuate better than me. #feelingsorryformeyself
#ignore

No need for regrets, you're talking to people who know exactly how you feel.  All I can say is, it doesn't last forever

S'right.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 13 June, 2018, 09:38:46 PM
I stayed away for a few days ecause I vaguely recalled I had posted here and was sure I'd made a fool of myself. Your comments (and a private message) gave me strength...and seriously, Thanks for taking the time to respond. helped considerably.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 15 September, 2018, 12:49:39 AM
It’s been some time since I needed to vent over this here thread, but recently i’ve been feeling very The worst for wear. I’m exhausted constantly, demotivated, and just generally fatigued. The black dog is nipping at my ankles and the worst part is, I know its daft. I’m doing OK, working long but generally rewarding hours, just passed my honours with a 2:1, i’m surrounded by some of the best friends I’ve ever had, but somedays it just takes one thing, and again the next.

It probably doesn’t help matters this morning I was informed by my family that our cat of 25 years, Spud, has passed on. It so daft that i’ve been feeling glum today over a silly old, mostly blind cat. But I still feel like i’ve lost an old friend.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Funt Solo 15 September, 2018, 02:49:20 AM
My dog, Rupert, was put down while I was away from home and it still upsets me to think about it.  It was best for him because he’d lost the use of his back legs. Still, he was a part of the family for years and it’s natural to mourn the loss. 
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 15 September, 2018, 06:40:20 AM

Best wishes to you, Hawkie - losing a beloved pet always leaves me in bits. It's not daft at all, it's entirely natural.



: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: SmallBlueThing(Reborn) 15 September, 2018, 07:24:51 AM
All best wishes to you, Hawk. Losing a cat, after 25 years, is devastating. When my old Spooky went- at 20- it knocked me off my feet.
Hoping you cope with this immensely difficult time and use everything you know to move on through it.
SBT
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 15 September, 2018, 08:48:33 AM
Really sorry to hear that, Hawk.  I'm a cat person too and I know what it's like to lose one.  Thoughts are with you.
By the way, at 25 Spud must surely have been one of the oldest cats in the world.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: TordelBack 15 September, 2018, 09:14:33 AM
It probably doesn’t help matters this morning I was informed by my family that our cat of 25 years, Spud, has passed on. It so daft that i’ve been feeling glum today over a silly old, mostly blind cat.

Not a bit of it.  My 20-year old three-legged cat died in her sleep two months ago and I'm still feeling sad about it.  She was so old that when she was a kitten she chewed the lightsabre of my brand new Mace Windu free mail-away Episode One promotional figure!  Or to put it another way,  so much a part of our lives. TBH I'm still not over the loss of my dog four years ago.

That's just how it is, don't feel bad about feeling bad. My every sympathy, Hawkie.

But congrats on the 2:1!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 15 September, 2018, 09:31:33 PM
Aye, congrats.  Not a small achievement at all.

Don't beat yourself up about how things are affecting you.  I think it's fair to say that we all know how easy it is to be tripped by the most innocuous event, sometimes without us even realising it has happened.  It's easy to feel guilty for feeling down when actually there are perfectly valid reasons for it.

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster for me too.  Finally back in work after six months, it's been quite an emotional experience.  It's hard to let go of the experiences of the last two years and simply see this as a fresh start.  Keeping things in perspective and remembering that whatever the validity of the criticisms I faced, the methods employed were unjustified at best ... Still, it does shape my perception at present.  Then I remember that this is a different situation and feel guilty / annoyed at myself.  Then I remember: "Small moves."

To all who are still moving forward with this baggage, stay strong guys.  To all who have provided supportive voices, thanks.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: paddykafka 16 September, 2018, 01:37:46 PM
Given that cats are my favourite creatures on the planet, I can completely empathise with how you feel. My sympathies and all the best to you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Bolt-01 17 September, 2018, 02:21:52 PM
Congrats on the 2.1, Hawkster and sorry for the loss.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dandontdare 22 September, 2018, 12:36:05 AM
aaargh - typed a long essay about not going to thought bubble and then lost it - cant be arsed retyping
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 22 September, 2018, 10:16:20 AM
No worries, DDD, hope all is ok with you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 22 September, 2018, 02:05:15 PM
I think it's fair to say that we all know how easy it is to be tripped by the most innocuous event, sometimes without us even realising it has happened.

So true..all keep well.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Dandontdare 24 September, 2018, 10:49:49 PM
No worries, DDD, hope all is ok with you.

Yeah cheers JBC I'm fine - in fact, half of my drunken rambling was apologising to those who suffer from genuine depression for taking up their thread with my petty moodswings.

In a nutshell, I wouldn't say I'm depressed, I just seem to be sorely lacking enthusiasm for anything at the moment- progs go unread all week, box-sets unwatched for months, I'm eating sandwiches and junk because I can't be arsed cooking etc. Although I did have a bit of a cold on Friday, I probably would have been fine at Thought Bubble, but when it came down to it, I just couldn't be bothered going - this surprised me somewhat in hindsight, because it's my favourite con, I always have a good time and I haven't missed one for years. I haven't even been out for a drink or meal with my mates for weeks.

Don't fret though, I'm seeing the NT Macbeth in a couple of weeks with my best friend, and have my great nephew's christening too - Those should snap me out of it, I've just been spending too much time alone lately.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 25 September, 2018, 08:32:45 PM
Aye, was going through a similar spell for a lot of last year, veering between the lethargic type of apathy you speak of and full-on depression.

Doesn't sound like you're only having petty mood swings though; sounds like you're actually suffering. Hope the upcoming social events do the trick for you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 25 September, 2018, 09:39:12 PM

Aye, nothing I can add, I know, except my heartfelt support and best wishes. It might give some comfort to know that, after over a decade of the loneliest black I've ever known, which I spent like Achilles sulking in his tent, things got immeasurably better for me. The last few years have been virtually dog-free for me and I no longer live in fear of its return.

Things can get better. If you believe nothing else I say (and why would you?), you can at least believe that.

Peace and love, my darlings, peace and love.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Funt Solo 26 September, 2018, 06:36:57 PM
The Beeb says eat well (https://www.bbc.com/news/health-45641628).
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 January, 2019, 05:03:08 PM
Alright, time to get this out in the open.  I'm veering towards the black pit again; not quite there but I am terrified of reaching it.  My anxiety level is much higher than normal and I feel bleak about the future.

I've been following a CBT book (Feeling Good, by David Burns) for the last week or so and trying (with some success and a few lapses) to keep up the exercises. I also went to a counsellor last week (not for the first time) and I felt good for the rest of the day but am relapsing.
 
I've never really done proper CBT - does anybody have experience of it?  It seems too good to be true but maybe that's just my own negative perspective.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 06 January, 2019, 05:29:09 PM

I don't know what CBT is but I hope it can help you. My best to you JBC, strength and love - we're all here for you, all on your side, you are valued and not alone.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 January, 2019, 05:31:16 PM
Thank you, Sharky, I appreciate it.  CBT is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; I have never really understood it before but am starting to get a grasp on it.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Funt Solo 06 January, 2019, 06:52:24 PM
I have a relative who's training to be a high school counselor, and I asked them about CBT.  They said it was very highly regarded, in that there are lots of studies one can point to where the technique has been efficacious.

Interestingly, they also pointed out that a counseling technique often isn't as important as the relationship between the counselor and the counseled.  So: if you have a positive relationship with your counselor (or have a good feeling about the book), then the technique they're using will probably prove effective (whether it's CBT or Freudian psychoanalysis).

That dynamic ties into the idea of CBT itself, where how you feel effects how you think, which effects what you do.  Like wot is in this diagram:

(https://i.imgur.com/LzSFCbM.png)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 06 January, 2019, 06:52:55 PM
Hi JBC, like many other folks in these parts, I can appreciate where you are coming from.  The worst thing about the dark pooch is its unerring ability to jump out on you when you're least expecting it.  Knowing what the worst aspects are is more of a challenge than experiencing them.

CBT is quite popular with primary care specialists these days and like Funt says, it has a large body of supportive research behind it.  In a lot of studies it has generally been found to be more effective than medication in long term treatment.

Possibly it's popularity is because it puts a lot of responsibility on the patient, it is cheap and easy to implement anywhere.  It's built on the idea that it is how we think about our feelings that is part of the issue with regards to chronic anxiety / depression.  Something happens, we think about it in a set way which triggers negative feelings and we're off and running.  Standard examples are along the lines of someone walks past you and ignore you, you assume that they are snubbing you which reinforces negative thoughts about yourself ...

I guess one of the advantages of the approach is it focuses less on underlying cause and more on dealing with present manifestation, if that makes sense.  No talking for hours about how your mother used to treat you (I finally get that scene in Blade Runner), more about what went through your mind when someone upset you and how else to think about it.

I've been using it for a few years now, along with Dialectic Behaviour Therapy, which is an extension of it, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (another CBT variant) with varying degrees of success.  I find some of the ideas from ACT quite helpful when I'm spiking.  Harris points out that one thing we have a really nasty habit of is giving ourselves grief when we feel low or anxious.  Anyone else we would be supportive of, but ourselves we give a damn good shoeing!  The one person we most need to be compassionate with is the last person we ever are with ...)

One really useful method is 'distancing'.  So if I'm starting to spike, I begin with a simple thought .. "Oh, I'm feeling anxious (whatever)".  This is the start of a chain  "I've just noticed ... "  "I've realised that I've just noticed .." "I'm now thinking about the fact that I realised that I've just noticed ..." and so on.  Each chain puts a bit more distance between me and my anxiety and allows it to ease off.  It tends to work better than my old tendency to ruminate, try and figure out why I'm feeling the way I am and plowing headlong into meltdown ...

Connected to this, I use his other idea about accepting that is the way I feel at that point, that it is only a feeling that will pass and that it is actually okay to feel crappy sometimes.

I'd love to be able to say it is a guaranteed method but it does work with practice.  Remember that you've only been playing around with this for a week, you are not alone and there are plenty of folks here willing to offer support of different types, that you are likely to be riding a rollercoaster for the next few days but not alone.

By all means PM if you need to.  In the meantime, what Sharky said ...

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Professor Bear 06 January, 2019, 06:56:20 PM
My insights into mental health begin and end with the observation that if brain medicine doesn't have "LOL" in the name, it maybe won't make you happy, IE: Propranolol is likely great stuff, but cetirizine hydrochloride probably less so.
I hope you give CBT a decent go, JBC.  Irish mental health - as a state of being as well as a public service - is a fucking disaster area, but I've seen mates who've had variable results with CBT ranging from "no effect" to "miraculous turnaround."  It doesn't work for everyone, but give it a good fist and look after yourself.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 January, 2019, 07:04:23 PM
Thank you, everyone. It's really good to have all your support and advice.  This thread is excellent.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 06 January, 2019, 07:13:59 PM
What has triggered this episode is anxiety over a relationship yet again, or a potential one to be more specific.  I won't go into it now but that's always what drives me to the edge.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: DrJomster 06 January, 2019, 10:45:03 PM
I hope things get better JBC.

Have you tried one of those mental health apps like Calm? Some of them get quite good reviews.

White noise apps might help too. They have things like breaking waves sounds which can be helpful, running stream sounds and so forth. They can be a helpful background noise.

Mobile phone games can be helpful too, if you lose yourself in pottering up through the levels it can distract you from real life.

Hope that’s helpful. All the best.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: DrJomster 06 January, 2019, 11:40:46 PM
Wanted to rephrase that last bit if that’s ok...

Mobile phone games can provide a sort of neutral space to wait out other things, I’ve found, not just real life but thoughts too. And after a bit of waiting out those other things, sometimes they don’t feel as difficult.

J
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 07 January, 2019, 06:44:19 AM
What has triggered this episode is anxiety over a relationship yet again, or a potential one to be more specific. 

Quite possibly this is where CBT might be helpful, in terms of reframing what is happening.  The worst thing about relationships is that we invest a lot of ourselves in them and when the other party doesn't reciprocate in the way that we hope we see it as a reflection on us. 

Alternative interpretations can ease the impact a little:

- you are too important for the individual to risk losing in their life if the relationship doesn't work out.
- they are not in a place where the relationship is something they could cope with right now.
- they have similar baggage to you and the relationship could actually be the worst thing ever for both of you (been there, got the scars ...)
- their head is firmly ensconced in their alimentary canal.

Of course we could come out with all the usual platitudes about how important relationships really are but we know they are all complete codswallop!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 07 January, 2019, 08:19:41 AM
Thank you, all these things really do help.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 07 January, 2019, 05:52:22 PM
Hope things improve for you Jayz.

My current battle with clinical depression got severe again this time last year.  It's not been easy but for me meds have been a help and CBT was also helpful.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 08 January, 2019, 03:43:19 PM
Thanks, Fishy.  Hope you continue to improve.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 09 January, 2019, 12:41:40 PM
cheers Jayz.  Going to be taking a long career break from april.  Needed to do it for ages and simply not healing just doing the same shit over and over.  have saved and saved ready for it so it's time.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 09 January, 2019, 02:39:03 PM

Sounds good, Fishy - enjoy!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Something Fishy 09 January, 2019, 06:30:21 PM
Cheers Sharky.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: paddykafka 09 January, 2019, 08:10:32 PM
Hi Jayzus, just wanted to wish you the best with your current situation and hope things work out for you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 09 January, 2019, 09:35:04 PM
Thanks so much,  paddy. Think I'm getting some kind of perspective again, very slowly but surely.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Smith 15 January, 2019, 08:02:42 AM
-wrong thread,if somebody could erase this post-
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Proudhuff 15 January, 2019, 05:57:45 PM
JBC, hope it all goes your way, CBT does work for some folks and well, other not so good, well worth a try, anything that helps. For me when I went through a dark stage recently, some here will know what I'm on about, Human Givens helped me: I don't agree with some of their claims, but their stuff on dreams and brain activity helped me cower the black dug back into its kennel. 

https://www.hgi.org.uk/resources/delve-our-extensive-library/depression/why-we-dream-forget-i-dont-dream (https://www.hgi.org.uk/resources/delve-our-extensive-library/depression/why-we-dream-forget-i-dont-dream)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Hawkmumbler 24 February, 2019, 02:36:07 PM
I was going tp dig out some posts I made 18 months ago in the midst of a deep depression I felt I was never going to escape from.

But felt it best not to dredge up the past, and just wish everyone a happy sunday, a cold beer and a comic maybe, and an assurance that whatever shit the black dog is dragging you through, it will get better.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Tjm86 24 February, 2019, 02:57:26 PM
... just wish everyone a happy sunday, a cold beer and a comic maybe, and an assurance that whatever shit the black dog is dragging you through, it will get better.

As Stan Lee used to say " 'nuff said!"
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 24 February, 2019, 03:05:53 PM

Feeling a little bit down myself, recently. Perfectly natural under the circs, I'm told, so hoping to push through it soon.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 26 February, 2019, 09:37:21 PM
Of course,  Sharky. Hope it doesn't last too long
.

 
I was going tp dig out some posts I made 18 months ago in the midst of a deep depression I felt I was never going to escape from.

But felt it best not to dredge up the past, and just wish everyone a happy sunday, a cold beer and a comic maybe, and an assurance that whatever shit the black dog is dragging you through, it will get better.

What he said.   I've been dredging through a lot of David Burns books since my last episode, and have found When Panic Attacks to be the most helpful. I'd avoided it at first, thinking it was about panic attacks, which I learned to overcome a long time ago.

 This book does take a lot of work and commitment but somehow I've stuck with it - also been listening to his podcasts which are also helpful in fleshing out the methods and showing them in action.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 26 February, 2019, 10:55:05 PM

Thanks, JBC. Back in my shed on the farm, now, surrounded by trees and birdsong and sunshine, got my dog back from the folks who were taking care of him and comforted by the well-wishes of my friends and neighbours. The Black Dog can't last long under those conditions!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Funt Solo 27 February, 2019, 03:20:26 AM
surrounded by trees and birdsong and sunshine

Oh, man: I need to get me some of that.  Glad things are on the up and up for you.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 27 February, 2019, 09:20:45 AM

Thanks, FS - I'm typing this in a meadow, walking the dog in the sunshine and listening to the birds. It's good for what ails you and no mistake - hope you can get some, too. I hope we all can!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 27 February, 2019, 09:28:13 AM
Heaven...
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Rately 27 February, 2019, 01:22:57 PM
Heaven...

Lovely view.

Hope all well with you, chaps, and the black dog is at arms length!
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: auxlen 27 February, 2019, 07:48:22 PM
Not been here for while...that fecking hound is killing me...i'm drinking too much, sleeping too little and written a  novel that makes UK people puke but US citizens swoon (a 100 copies sold 99 in the US). anyone else have a drink yourself to death clause in their marriage vows they want to activate...


IGNOIRE MEH

drunk and pathetic...sorry
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 27 February, 2019, 08:09:42 PM

You've written a novel and sold copies - that's no mean feat.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 01 March, 2019, 09:44:01 PM
Not been here for while...that fecking hound is killing me...i'm drinking too much, sleeping too little and written a  novel that makes UK people puke but US citizens swoon (a 100 copies sold 99 in the US). anyone else have a drink yourself to death clause in their marriage vows they want to activate...


IGNOIRE MEH

drunk and pathetic...sorry

I'm a boozer as well,  but without a novel that people buy.  You're doing ok
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 06 March, 2019, 07:53:25 PM

I may have spoken too soon. Starting to obsess about my heart-stopping moments. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: M.I.K. 06 March, 2019, 10:11:45 PM
If you're worried about the apparent lack of afterlife/near death experience/cool hallucination, (delete according to personal belief system), I wouldn't. From what I understand, that can sometimes take a while to get started.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 06 March, 2019, 10:40:29 PM

Thanks, M.I.K., that's not really it, though. It's hard to explain but it's like there was nothing to it - no regrets, no fear, no fighting for life, no importance - nothing. It's like I didn't care and now I find myself thinking things like, 'if it happens again I'll just go off somewhere and let it happen.' How can I not care anymore? That's just wrong but... what's the point of me? If dying's so easy, and so easy to accept, what good is my life? What difference does anything I do make?

I'm sorry - not making any sense.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Funt Solo 06 March, 2019, 10:53:11 PM
"Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iNx3rKkwJQ)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: M.I.K. 06 March, 2019, 11:40:13 PM
I'm sorry - not making any sense.

You're making total sense. If all those Howard the Duck comics I read when I was little taught me anything, it's how to recognise an existential crisis when I see one. I'm not sure what advice to give you though, other than what Funt posted and also to avoid people with bells for heads.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: Funt Solo 07 March, 2019, 01:20:20 AM
I was chatting with a therapy student about this topic and they suggested existential crisis therapy as something to look into.  Assuming this is our one go around the mulberry bush, and given that we don't control many aspects of life, then what is it we do have control over, and what do we want to do with that?
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 07 March, 2019, 07:46:38 AM

Thanks, chaps, your perspectives are very helpful. I'm hopeful that this odd mood of mine will pass and that I can avoid falling to the black dog proper. I thought I'd defeated it for good but here it is again, apparently with some new (to me) tricks. I guess all I can do is face it and growl back.

I went back to work yesterday, nearly two weeks early, just doing light stuff. This is helping because I was feeling weak and useless, unable to concentrate on or muster any enthusiasm for writing (I wanted to write some scripts for Zarjaz and maybe some short stories while I had the time but nothing came).

Anyway, thanks again for listening to my whining and taking the time to help - it's much appreciated.

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 07 March, 2019, 08:02:52 AM
Sharky, my recent massive trawl through David Burns' CBT material led me to this podcast here.  Although he explains it far better than me, it would seem that the identity is an illusion anyway, and your apathy and confusion is probably a result of another, unconscious problem.

Not that I have a clue what's going on in your mind, but it may be worth looking at.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/feelinggood.com/2016/11/06/podcast-6-ask-david-identity-crisis-finding-a-cbt-therapist-love-me-the-way-i-am/amp/ (https://www.google.com/amp/s/feelinggood.com/2016/11/06/podcast-6-ask-david-identity-crisis-finding-a-cbt-therapist-love-me-the-way-i-am/amp/)
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: The Legendary Shark 07 March, 2019, 10:45:16 AM

Thanks, JBC - I'll download that today!

: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: JayzusB.Christ 07 March, 2019, 03:06:20 PM
Good man. It describes a very specific case about a teenage girl so I don't know how helpful it'll be, but hopefully you'll get something out of it. I have listened to nearly all his podcasts since I discovered him after Christmas; I thought it all sounded a bit silly at first but it's proved fairly helpful.
: Re: The Black Dog Thread
: DrJomster 07 March, 2019, 10:04:34 PM
Something I find really helpful is finding the right radio station. Getting that mix of music you can lose yourself in and the right mix of presenters can really help tide you over until things pass a bit. These days there’s radio iPlayer, BBC sounds and other internet radio goodies to choose from. For me it’s 6 Music, but maybe that’s an age thing!